03/05/2013 8:19 PM ET
Command performance eluding Bumgarner
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- If there's one thing that anybody can be sure of regarding Madison Bumgarner, it's his impeccable control.
That's why the left-hander's total of four walks in 5 2/3 innings spanning three Cactus League outings appears somewhat unusual. Bumgarner has averaged 2.1 walks per nine innings in his four-year career.
Bumgarner explained after the Giants' 4-3 Cactus League loss to the Indians that after enduring last year's prolonged season, he refrained from throwing off a mound during the offseason, indicating that this might have affected his command.
"Maybe if I'm doing this with a week to go, I'd be getting a little concerned," said Bumgarner, who allowed one run and three hits while walking one in his two-inning stint. "But right now I feel good. I think the command will start coming in and getting a little better"
Bumgarner, San Francisco's No. 2 starter, said that shortening the turn in his pitching delivery is no longer an issue, but holding runners on base is. Ezequiel Carrera stole two bases off Bumgarner in the second inning before scoring.
"I definitely have to get better at that," Bumgarner said.
Legends Mays, Cepeda and Perry visit club
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It almost didn't matter what Willie Mays, Orlando Cepeda and Gaylord Perry had to say Tuesday morning to Giants players. Just being in the same room with the trio of Hall of Famers and franchise legends was enough of a thrill for the ballclub.
Of course, Mays, Cepeda and Perry gave the Giants more than just their presence. They dispensed advice, provided observations and reminded the reigning World Series champions that every other opponent likely will play just a little harder against them in 2013 -- "that we have a bulls-eye on our backs," right-hander George Kontos said.
Traded from the Yankees to the Giants at the start of last season, Kontos previously spent time alongside all-time greats such as Yogi Berra, Goose Gossage and Ron Guidry. But being around the best who ever played never gets old and remains valuable.
"We're very privileged to have those guys speak to us and give us a little bit of their take about the game and when they played," Kontos said. "They're in the Hall of Fame for a reason. They're great at what they did and they have tons of knowledge. Not many other teams get the opportunity to have guys like this come."
Right-hander Chris Heston, a first-time participant in big league camp, sounded attentive and appreciative.
"Those guys, especially Willie Mays, laid the foundation for the Giants," Heston said. "To get their feedback on what they thought about the game and how they went about it is beneficial for anybody. Any little advice they can give you is huge."
Mays is a frequent clubhouse visitor during Spring Training and the regular season. But though none of the current Giants players is old enough to have seen him perform, the mere sight of him gives them a thrill.
"It's something that a lot of people would kill for," Heston said.
• Left fielder Francisco Peguero went 2-for-4 in the Giants' 4-3 Cactus League loss to the Indians and his batting average actually decreased from .563 to .550. "I like his approach up there," said manager Bruce Bochy, who added that Peguero is very much part of the competition for a reserve outfield spot as a right-handed-batting complement to left-handed batter Gregor Blanco and switch-hitting Andres Torres.
• Giants second baseman Kensuke Tanaka and Indians starter Daisuke Matsuzaka engaged in a reunion of sorts. The former Japanese stars faced each other in a 1998 national high school tournament before they met in occasional confrontations as professionals. Tanaka went 1-for-2 off "Dice-K," who's competing for Cleveland's No. 5 starting spot.
• Bochy said that left-hander Javier Lopez, who's recovering from a bruise on his throwing hand, pitched live batting practice on an auxiliary field and could appear in a game next Monday or Tuesday.
• Bochy's son, right-hander Brett Bochy, pitched his second scoreless inning since yielding a bases-loaded double and a three-run homer on Feb. 25 against the White Sox. Brett Bochy escaped despite allowing a double and issuing a walk. "I thought he did a nice job," Bruce Bochy said. "He threw strikes. He got into a little jam, but he kept his poise and made some pitches to get out of it."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.