04/08/2013 10:19 PM ET
Scutaro working to find hitting stroke
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Among the Giants who took extra batting practice Monday afternoon was second baseman Marco Scutaro, who has begun the season in an uncharacteristic slump.
Scutaro entered Monday's series opener against the Colorado Rockies batting .087 (2-for-23). That contrasted sharply with the .362 average he posted in 61 games after the Giants obtained him from Colorado last July 27. Scutaro also hit .500 (14-for-28) while capturing Most Valuable Player honors in the National League Championship Series.
Scutaro said in several different ways that he felt uncoordinated at the plate: "My timing's off. ... Rhythm is not there. ... I'm jumping at the ball. ... I'm not letting the ball travel."
Giants manager Bruce Bochy sounded relatively unconcerned, expressing confidence that Scutaro's experience will help him escape his skid.
"He's not going to panic," Bochy said.
Bochy revealed that he talked Sunday with Scutaro, who stated that he wanted to play his way out of his slump instead of asking for a day off.
Scutaro has been playing with a stiff back that started bothering him in Spring Training, but he downplayed it as a factor in his hitting struggles. Asked if he felt he needed to rest Scutaro to give his back a chance to calm down, Bochy said, "No, or I would."
Scutaro rewarded that faith in the first inning Monday, singling and scoring on Hunter Pence's three-run homer.
Torres considering return to big bat
SAN FRANCISCO -- In an effort to boost his offensive production, outfielder Andres Torres might resume using the tree trunk masquerading as a baseball bat that he thrived with in his previous Giants stint.
Torres used a 35-inch, 33-ounce bat, believed to be among the largest and heaviest sticks in the Majors, from 2009-2011. During that span, he established career highs with a .270 batting average and a .533 slugging percentage in 2009 before reaching more personal bests with 16 home runs and 63 RBIs in 2010. The switch-hitter said Monday that he has ordered a shipment of 35-33s to add to his repertoire.
"I want to keep going with the heavy bat because I had good seasons with that," said Torres, who entered Monday hitting .167 (2-for-12) while sharing playing time in left field with Gregor Blanco.
Though many players swing 31-ounce models, Torres explained that he simply feels more comfortable with larger bats. He's currently using a 34-inch, 32-ounce bat sporting a barrel that's approximately as thick as his 35-33.
But Torres, who abandoned the 35-33 while hitting .230 in 132 games for the Mets last year, admitted that the bat he uses has a limited effect on his performance.
"It's not the bat," he said. "It's the mechanics."
• Bochy reiterated his intent to find more playing time for rookie infielder Nick Noonan, who singled for his first Major League hit in Sunday's ninth inning. "I'm going to have to play him," said Bochy, who doesn't want to see Noonan rust on the bench. "He's going to get some starts."
• Bochy said that his Colorado counterpart, first-year skipper Walt Weiss, shouldn't necessarily be hampered by his absence of a professional managing background. Weiss coached Regis Jesuit High School last year and has never managed in the Minor Leagues. Weiss, a former infielder, also played in the Majors for 13 years. "Walt's been around and has tons of experience," Bochy said. "I think this is going to be an easy transition for him."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.