2/15/2014 7:20 P.M. ET
Teahen joins Giants on Minor League deal
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants have reached agreement on a Minor League contract with infielder-outfielder Mark Teahen, who played for the Royals, White Sox and Blue Jays from 2005-11.
Teahen was selected 39th overall by the Oakland A's in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft, joining a contingent of players who were celebrated in Michael Lewis' best-selling book, "Moneyball." The A's sent Teahen to the Royals as part of a three-team trade in 2004. Teahen, a left-handed batter, proceeded to hit .264 with 67 home runs in his big league career.
Teahen, 32, was not added to the Giants' Spring Training roster and will report to Minor League camp in approximately two weeks. He spent most of last year with the York Revolution of the independent Atlantic League. He also played at the Triple-A level in the D-backs and Rangers organizations.
Pitchers play pepper to work on hitting technique
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It wasn't a time warp. It was Saturday. There, on an auxiliary field at the Giants' Scottsdale Stadium complex, were pitchers playing pepper.
This wasn't a recreational activity. It was meant for pitchers, particularly the starters who must bat in National League games, to improve their hitting skills.
"I think it's a good little drill to teach bat control," hitting instructor Joe Lefebvre said. "It helps you with situational hitting, moving the ball around. There are a lot of little things you can gain with it."
For the uninitiated, pepper involves a player hitting lobbed throws back to one or more teammates standing about 20 to 30 feet away. Accomplished pepper hitters can essentially aim where they hit the ball, and slick fielders can grab hard smashes.
Pepper gradually became less prominent in the 1980s. So were there some pitchers, particularly Minor Leaguers, who had never played pepper?
"There were a couple of guys who were a little rough," Lefebvre said. "But you'll see big improvement over a couple of days."
Huff settles in quickly with Giants
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- David Huff has been a Giant for less than a month and already feels at home.
The left-hander compared the Giants favorably to his previous organization, the New York Yankees, who sent Huff to San Francisco for cash considerations on Jan. 24.
"There are a lot of similarities between this club and that club. They know what it takes to win championships," Huff said. "[Another] similarity I saw when I first got here was, they welcomed you."
A resident of Huntington Beach, Calif., Huff relished his baseball relocation to the West Coast. "When I got picked up by the Giants, it was like, 'sweet,' " said the 29-year-old, who played at UCLA with Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford.
The Giants obtained Huff partly for his versatility. He has started 54 big league games but made 12 relief appearances for the Indians and Yankees last year.
Huff intends to implement the mechanical adjustments he made with Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild, who coaxed him into lowering his arm angle. This could help Huff end his struggles against left-handed batters, who have compiled a .311 average, .381 on-base percentage and .519 slugging percentage off him in his career.