02/12/2013 7:05 PM ET
Bochy hits the links at two premier courses
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy recently lived a golfer's dream by playing two of the world's premier courses within a week.
First, Bochy visited Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters. Bochy called it "the most beautiful man-made place I've ever seen."
Then, last Monday, Bochy was among a group of eight representing the Giants in a charity competition against former 49ers stars at Pebble Beach. That's where Bochy nearly beaned a bystander with an awry shot.
Bochy said that he prepared for his visits by hitting "about a thousand balls a day," since he hadn't golfed extensively in about five years. His scores: 86 at Augusta, 89 at Pebble. Obviously, his practice paid off.
Glad to be back with Giants, Torres reports early
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Try to imagine Andres Torres playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers. That's right, you can't.
Neither could Torres, though he said that the Dodgers were among the few teams that pursued him in free agency this past offseason. Torres, a popular Giant from 2009-11, re-signed with San Francisco for one year and $2 million after a subpar 2012 season with the New York Mets (.230 batting average, .664 OPS in 132 games).
Reporting to camp three days before position players are due, Torres said Tuesday that the Dodgers, Reds and Mets expressed interest in him along with the Giants. But Torres' loyalty to the organization and the city trumped all.
"I know that sometimes you have to move on, but I have to be realistic," Torres said. "San Francisco gave me the opportunity when I was in the Minors. I'll always appreciate it."
Brown to get significant playing time this spring
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Manager Bruce Bochy indicated Tuesday that center fielder Gary Brown, the Giants' top position-player prospect, will finally receive substantial playing time in Major League Spring Training games this spring.
Angel Pagan's departure to play for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic will create activity for Brown, San Francisco's No. 1 selection in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. Brown was invited to each of the previous two big league camps, but he appeared in just 16 Cactus League games, batting .235 (4-for-17).
Bochy added that Brown also will play left and right field to diversify his skills.
"This will give him a great opportunity to show what he can do," Bochy said of Brown, who's likely to begin this season at Triple-A Fresno.
Lopez unsure if he will play in Classic
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Outfielder Andres Torres is in the World Baseball Classic, but left-hander Javier Lopez hinted that he might be out of the international tournament that begins in early March.
Both Giants are on Puerto Rico's provisional roster.
Torres told reporters Tuesday that he'll join the relatively large representation of Giants who will leave camp to play in the Classic. Though Torres faces competition with Gregor Blanco for the left-field job and isn't likely to claim more than a platoon role, manager Bruce Bochy had no problem with the switch-hitter's impending departure.
"We know Andres," Bochy said. "It might be a little bit different if we didn't know him."
Lopez, who played for Puerto Rico in the 2009 Classic, said that his primary loyalty lies with his employers, the Giants. He indicated that if he doesn't feel comfortable after throwing a bullpen session or two in the next week, he'll stay here to continue to prepare for the regular season.
"It's a great experience. I had a good time," Lopez said of the '09 Classic. But, he added while standing in the Giants' clubhouse, "This is the focus. These are the guys who are paying me to play. If I don't feel I'm ready, I'm not going to jeopardize the season just to play [in the Classic]."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.