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For the Giants to say a pitching staff did well against them is saying something, indeed.
Manager Bruce Bochy dropped his strongest hint yet that Brandon Belt would be the Giants opening day first baseman, with Aubrey Huff shifting to left field.
Bochy repeatedly stressed that that all decisions are in pencil until at least Wednesday’s final roster cuts. But when asked if Belt will be at first base for the regular-season opener against Arizona on Friday, he did nothing do dispel the notion.
"He’s been getting most of the playing time there,’’ Bochy said. "We’ve said we’d put the bats out there that are swinging well."
The Giants and Matt Cain have reached an agreement on a 5 year extension through 2017 with a club/vesting player option for 2018.
It is a 100M deal plus a $5M signing bonus. In addition there is a $7.5m buyout on the club/vesting player option for 2018.
Sources tell (Andrew Baggarly) that the volume of dialogue has increased between the Giants and Cain's representatives as Friday's soft deadline edges near. Cain reiterated on Saturday that he sees the start of the season as a "cutoff" to ensure he stays focused on baseball.
"Manny's playing well," Bochy said. "We'll meet after the day off and reevaluate where we're at. Freddy Sanchez will play a part in this when we can get him out there. Manny's playing some good ball."
Asked if he would rather be a bench player in the big leagues or a starter at Triple-A, Belt made another surprising comment. He said he’d rather play.
"That’s a tough decision," he said. "We all want to be in the big leagues. But my main goal is to play every day. If I have to start in Fresno, that’s what I’ll do. Then my goal will be to produce enough to get back up here."
"I see a pure hitter. Just a pure hitter," Alou said Tuesday. "I see a guy with a very simple, consistent swing that gets right to the ball. I haven’t seen him swing and miss, and I’ve been watching him ever since instructional league. I haven’t seen him swing and miss yet."
Sanchez still hasn’t done any throwing besides playing catch. He hasn’t taken infield, other than just picking up ground balls. He still hasn’t thrown to bases, let alone try to turn the pivot on a double play.
"We definitely have to be more consistent with this offense," Bochy said.