02/18/2013 7:16 PM ET
Live BP signals true start of camp for Giants
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Try telling the Giants that Monday's opening session of live batting practice was just a drill.
To keep Pablo Sandoval alert, catcher Buster Posey ordered Matt Cain to throw a first-pitch curveball. "Buster likes to throw wrinkles in there every once in a while," Cain said. "You know [Sandoval] -- he was going to be hacking. So you have to give him something to make him think a little bit."
Instead of admiring Gregor Blanco's fly to deep left field, Andres Torres, whom the Giants reacquired partly for his defense, raced toward the warning track and made a slick catch.
"It seems like everybody's ready to go," Blanco said.
Right-hander Chad Gaudin, a 10-year veteran who's a non-roster invitee, threw well enough to earn praise from pitching coach Dave Righetti, hitting coach Hensley Meulens and center fielder Angel Pagan before he left the field.
"It's go time," Pagan said.
Vogelsong to start Cactus League opener
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Ryan Vogelsong will start Saturday's Cactus League opener against the Los Angeles Angels, manager Bruce Bochy said Monday.
The outing will serve as Vogelsong's first tuneup for the World Baseball Classic. The right-hander will be Team USA's No. 2 starter.
"We're definitely going to have him ready," Bochy said.
It's a welcome change for Vogelsong, who missed the first four weeks of Spring Training last year and began the season on the 15-day disabled list with a strained lower back. He still finished 14-9 with a 3.37 ERA and was San Francisco's leading winner in the postseason, with a 3-0 record.
Right-hander Heston drawing crowd in first camp
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The interest generated by right-hander Chris Heston continued to grow Monday.
Before Heston began throwing his batting-practice session, three members of the Giants' baseball operations staff were watching activity on the auxiliary diamond where he was due to appear.
By the time Heston released his first pitch, eight of the Giants' top scouts and talent evaluators, including general manager Brian Sabean, were on hand. Moments later, manager Bruce Bochy arrived to watch Heston, who's in his first big league camp.
"You want to try to block that stuff out as much as you can, though sometimes it's kind of hard," said Heston, who turns 25 on April 10. "And I'll be the first to say I think everybody's a little nervous out there to start. But it kind of comes with the growing part of it. Getting to be around these guys and throwing for these guys is a great opportunity. You kind of make the best of it."
Heston, 9-8 with a 2.24 ERA for Double-A Richmond last year, likely will begin the season in the Minors. But with the Giants seeking starting pitching depth, his development has grabbed the organization's attention.
"I'm pretty lucky to come in with the type of pitchers that the staff has," Heston said. "If I can learn something from everybody, it'll be a successful spring."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.