Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Attack of the Kids

Well, today started out just like Thursday. Same players on the main field. Almost the same pitchers threw "live" batting practice. The only difference was that Randy Johnson was the first pitcher today, followed by Tim Lincecum, Barry Zito, Bobby Howry, Jack Taschner and Keiichi Yabu.

The pitchers are still well ahead of the batters, although there was quite a bit more contact made today. Rich Aurilia took Randy Johnson deep on the first swing he took. After that, there was not a lot of contact made and no other hard hit balls off of Johnson. Fred Lewis hit one out against Timmy Lincecum and Nate Schierholtz did the same against Keiichi Yabu. The HR was about the only hard hit ball off of Timmy. As I said, other than the 3 HRs, there wasn't a lot of loud contact made. Zito and Yabu allowed the most contact on the day, but even they weren't hit real hard.

The real surprise of the day came toward the end of the "normal" batting practice (with coaches pitching). About the middle of the third group of batters, I noticed that several players had come over from the practice field and were shagging balls in the outfield. I figured they were either told they had to come over and just shag, or they must be taking BP in the later rounds. I figured I better stick around for the entire BP, just in case. The fourth BP group ended up being Scott McClain, Josh Phelps, Matt Downs and Kevin Frandsen. The fifth group consisted of Buster Posey, Conor Gillaspie, Jake Wald and Jesus Guzman. I would say that was pretty much worth sticking around for.

There was quite a bit more action today in the normal BP than there has been in the past. Pablo Sandoval was his usual self, sending rockets all over the field. I figured he had the HR derby for the day sewed up when he hit 4 out. He also hit several one hoppers off the wall and hit the wall just short of a HR a couple of more times. The only negative was that he still did nothing to speak of during "live" BP. As it turns out, Pablo did not have the most HRs on the day. Nate Schierholtz knocked five over the fence, then Scott McClain also left the park five times. Sandoval still consistently hit the ball the hardest........but the young rightfielder and the old minor leaguer bested him in total HRs. Several others went deep, including Bengie Molina, Kevin Frandsen, Rich Aurilia (twice) and Travis Ishikawa, who did it three times.

Back to the kids. I must say, although I was happy to get a chance to see them swing the bat, none of them were overly impressive. Even Posey who was hitting as many line drives as Sandoval last time I saw him, was hitting more like Dave Roberts today. After about his 3rd or 4th time in the cage, I heard him tell Conor Gillaspie "I can't do anything today". Just prior to his last turn in the cage, Carney Lansford came over and talked with Posey for a few minutes. In his last round, Posey had 2 swings and hit 2 line drives. Whatever Carney had to say must have worked. Gillaspie and Juan Guzman were both hitting better than Posey and not doing a bad job, just nothing to really write home about. The most consistent line drive hitter in the last two groups was Kevin Frandsen although Scott McClain had him beat for sheer power. McClain's power was shown in high arching shots, not so much via line drives.

That's pretty much the rundown for today. Since, until the very end, I was seeing the same players as every other day, I tried to get a few closeup shots of some of the players. I will post a several of them , along with some shots of the kids.


Wilriv21 said...

It is early and the hitters are getting the kinks out. How are the other pitchers - Sanchez, Cain, Pucetas, Affeldt, Valdez, Perdomo - doing?

Expecting a surprise season from Travis Ishikawa. Hope TI gets his opportunity.

Ouch - Posey hitting like Roberts.

Anonymous said...

Who is this Jake Wald character? He sounds like his surname should be longer. Is he a spring training invitee?

Giantfan9 said...

As I said in the narrative, these are the only pitchers I have seen. They tend to work the same people on the main field, over and over again. I don't know who I missed yesterday, but if pitchers work on the practice field instead of the main field.....I will never see them.

kennyhel77 said...

One would think to give McClain a chance. I would rather see what he could do for a season backing up Ishi than Phelps. Nice report as always!!!

Giantfan9 said...

JP...Jake Wald is a 28 year old Minor League non-roster invitee. He was drafted by the Giants in the 11th round in 2002. He plays mostly SS. Not much of a hitter.

sterny40 said...

I agree with Kennyhel - let's give Big Mac a chance. With some decent ABs, i think he could be productive and he can play both corner IF positions. How did Josh Phelps look?

Anonymous said...

Love the daily updates and thanks for the great pictures ... keep up the good work!