2/17/2014 6:14 P.M. ET
Live batting practice coming soon for Giants
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Giants position players will have to gear up their swings relatively quickly after Wednesday's inaugural full-squad workout.
With the Cactus League opener against the A's scheduled for Feb. 26, hitters won't have the luxury of gradually adjusting by taking two or three days of batting practice only against coaches, who are relatively easy to face. More likely, manager Bruce Bochy said, the Giants will begin live batting practice, with pitchers testing their stuff against teammates, as early as Thursday.
Position players continued arriving in advance of Tuesday's reporting date. Infielder Joaquin Arias and outfielders Gregor Blanco and Angel Pagan dropped by Scottsdale Stadium on Monday.
Giants' starter prospects might shift to relief
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants don't have too much pitching, because the well-worn cliche says that's impossible. But they might utilize some of their young arms differently than they had intended.
Manager Bruce Bochy said Monday that a few individuals among their perceived surplus of starters could break into the Majors as relievers.
"We've even discussed that with some of them," Bochy said.
The Giants would have a logjam of starters if all of their prospects develop capably -- which, under baseball's law of averages, is an unlikely event. Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner, who are signed through 2017 and perhaps longer if option years kick in, are already established in the rotation. The Giants also are waiting on Kyle Crick, Clayton Blackburn, Chris Stratton, Martin Agosta, Ty Blach and Edwin Escobar, among others.
Crick, the organization's No. 1 prospect who's ranked No. 32 baseball-wide by MLB.com, likely will remain a starter. So will Escobar, who's considered the most Major League-ready among the Giants' youngsters.
"Right now, we want him starting," Bochy said of Escobar, who's rated 95th on MLB.com's prospect list. "He has a different look about him this spring. I think he sees he's a guy who's in the mix. He's knocking on the door right now."
Giants to devote more attention to bunting
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Though Giants pitchers already have been performing drills to improve their bunting, those efforts will intensify after full-squad workouts start Wednesday, when third-base coach Tim Flannery will begin early-morning tutorials in the "flat-bat" art.
Bunting falls under the category of situational hitting, an area that challenged the Giants last season. They actually ranked fifth in the National League with 66 sacrifice bunts a year ago, compared to being tied for sixth with 69 bunts in the World Series-winning season of 2012. But such statistics can be deceiving. Numbers or no numbers, manager Bruce Bochy wants more consistency when the Giants attempt to bunt.
"I think it's fair to say that bunting might have gotten away from us a little bit last year," he said.