Results tagged ‘ Pablo Sandoval ’

Lights, Camera, Photo Day…

Early Sunday morning, Scottsdale Stadium turned into a photo studio.  Each spring, media outlets ranging from MLB, USA Today, CSNBayArea, and Baseball Digest just to name a few, set up shop to capture head shots, video and more for each member of the Giants.  Players begin lining up at 7am and go from station to station (over 10) to have their photo taken which will be seen on website profiles, scoreboard and television headshots and even baseball cards.  Here are some of the highlights from today’s #SFGPhotoDay:

Saturday in the Park

It was a sunny and warm day in Scottsdale as the Giants continued their #SFGSpring Workout.  Tomorrow is #SFGPhotoDay in camp so stay tuned for more great Tweets/Vines/Instagrams coming your way.  Here’s today’s Social Wrap Up:

 

Another Day in Paradise

It was Day 2 of the #SFGiants Full Squad workouts here in Scottsdale, AZ.  Not much to report, but some of the highlights include

The arrival of Brandon Belt

 

Live pitching from Matt Cain and Javier Lopez

 

Green Screen fun with Brandon Belt

 

Sit down interview with Hunter Pence

 

Some great Live BP sessions

 

https://twitter.com/SFGiants/status/436595618710953984/photo/1/large

Take a look at the rest of the day 

 

And don’t forget…tomorrow, you can watch the Giants practice LIVE on sfgiants.com/LIVE beginning at 10am PT

One Day Closer to #SFGSpring

With only 4 days until #SFGiants pitchers and catchers report to camp in Scottsdale, the Orange and Black are working hard to get ready for the season. Let’s catch up with our guys to see what they’ve been up to the past few weeks:

Hunter Pence vs Car

Gregor Blanco…Quick Feet

George Kontos: #HotelRoomCatch

Pablo Sandoval proving less is more

Jeremy Affeldt vs Car the sequel

Flying Panda

A quick post to show some photos of Pablo Sandoval in Venezuela Friday for the big Caracas v. Magallanes championship game.
As you probably know, Pablo flew from the Sharks game in San Jose on Thursday night (view video) to Miami, then to Caracas, where a helicopter was waiting. It flew him to Valencia, then Pablo was whisked to the ballpark with a police escort. 
And all of it was shown live on national television. 
“I didn’t have permission but I talked to (Brian Sabean) when I was in Miami, and they said yes, but only as DH,” Sandoval told an MLB reporter in Venezuela. He went 1-for-4.
“A Caracas-Magallanes game is something else. You feel like your heart is going to come right out of your mouth,” Sandoval had told reporters earlier.
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Pablo and Friends

The latest “Inside the Clubhouse” episode just taped here at AT&T. The star – no surprise- was Pablo Sandoval, who shared the stage with Nate Scheirholtz, batting coach Bam-Bam Meulens, trainer Dave Groeschner and host Greg Papa. 
Pablo, as you know, is one of those guys who are born to live in the spotlight. As he said when an audience member asked if he set goals for each season, “I just go play and have some fun.”
He did, however, reveal one goal for 2010. Having lost around 12 pounds so far in the off-season, he wants to steal more bases. So when Greg Papa joked about going for 20-20 (home runs and stolen bases), Pablo nodded.
“That’s my one goal,” he said. “I told Groesch. Twenty-twenty.”
I asked him afterward if he was serious. “Yeah, I think I can do it,” he said.
He confirmed that he had gained just a pound during his time in Venezuela playing winter ball and eating his mother’s cooking. 
“One pound, and it’s muscle!” he said.
He also returned to the states with a new look – a Mohawk. He joked with Groeschner on stage that he ought to get one, too.
“Take us to the World Series,” Groeschner said, “and I’ll do it.”
When Meulens talked about getting players to be more patient at the plate, he clarified that he was basically leaving Pablo alone. “I’d be crazy to mess with him,” Meulens said. But Pablo said that wasn’t true. 
“This year I’m going to be different,” Pablo said. “I’m going to be more patient. I’ve been working on it in winter ball with Bam-Bam.”
The result? He hit .395 in the regular season and .477 in the playoffs. 
“I want to narrow his zone,” Meulens said, “but I don’t want to take away his aggressiveness.”
Schierholtz also is making a big change at the plate: He is wearing batting gloves for the first time in his life.
“I never used them growing up,” he said. “Just grabbed a little dirt and go. But in Puerto Rico (in winter ball), I had 75 at-bats with gloves. I’m getting used to them slowly. I’ve gone through a lot of different brands to get the ones I want.”
He’s also been working on recognizing pitchers more successfully and working within his own strike zone. He hopes it will produce more home runs. 
“I have more power than what I’ve shown,” he said.
When asked if he had superstitions, Nate said he eats the same thing every day if he’s on a streak. 
“Cheetos,” he said, smiling, “have a lot of hits in them.”
Pablo, sitting next to Nate, smiled and raised his eyebrow, stealing a glance at his trainer.
“There are a lot of hits in bananas, too,” Groeschner said.
Photos from Inside the Clubhouse:
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 Greg Papa, Pablo Sandoval, Dave Grosechner

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Greg Papa, Nate Schierholtz, Pablo Sandoval, Hensley Muelens, Dave Groeschner
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Winter League Lessons

I phoned Giants player personnel
director Bobby Evans this week – he’s back east with his family
for the holidays — to talk about the fall league and winter ball. I
wanted to know what he learns about his players when he looks at
their stats from these brief seasons in far-flung places.

“For most of the players, it’s a
development opportunity,” Evans said. “These are not rec
leagues. They’re competitive, spirited, driven programs. You
succeed or you come home. The pressure is high and the stakes are
high.

“As hard as it is for young Latin
players to come to the U.S. and succeed, that’s what it’s like
for American players to go into competitive winter ball leagues.”

Nate Schierholtz, for example, hit .324
in Puerto Rico after a frustrating regular season that saw him
sidelined for a stretch with a strained hip. Winter ball “was a
strong development opportunity for Nate and shows how tough he is,”
Evans said.

Kevin Frandsen also did well in the
Puerto Rican league, hitting .337. “He’ll compete to be one of
the utility guys on the big league club,” Evans said. “He was
healthy all year and showed what kind of player he’s capable of
being. Just like Nate, by doing well in Puerto Rico, it turns heads.
Helps people see, ‘Hey, I’m not slowing down. I’m going to do
everything I can to compete.’ ”

For Brett Pill, the young first-baseman
who had a breakout 2009 season in the minors, the winter league in
Venezuela was a confidence boost. He batted .329 with a .411 on-base
percentage.

“When you’re playing alongside
major-league players you’ve only seen on SportsCenter, and you’re
doing well, it’s an eye-opener. You’re thinking, ‘I can compete
with these guys.’ It’s going to help him approach the next level
– his first major-league spring training — with a lot more
confidence.”

Evans puts less stock in the
performances in the Arizona fall league, where Brandon Crawford and
Buster Posey played.

“You can’t read too much into
whether you were successful or unsuccessful because you get such
limited at-bats,” Evans said.

Crawford hit .312 and Posey .225.

“As much as he might have struggled
offensively,” Evans said of Posey, “he showed a respectable
on-base percentage (.324). It was a long year for him between
big-league camp, five months in the minor leagues in two different
places followed by a September call-up and fall league. Not question
there was strain on him.’

Evans said Crawford, whose impressive
performance in Single A early on in 2009 seemed almost effortless, is
expected to start the season in Double A “and see where the season
takes him. What we’ve seen in him is a sense of passion. He’s
driven.”

No word yet on whether Pablo Sandoval
has been successful in maintaining his weight-loss from his Operation
Panda conditioning camp. He hit .395 in Venezuela, his home country.
The Giants expect to see Sandoval back in San Francisco in a couple
weeks.

John Bowker’s winter-league season
was cut short by a quadriceps strain. (He played in just three
games.) He’s been receiving treatment in San Francisco and is
expected to be ready for spring training.

Have a great New Year. See you in 2010.

From the Horses’ Mouths

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It sure looks weird to see the clubhouse in the off-season. Even filled as it was last night with fans in folding chairs, it was like walking into an abandoned building. There’s a kind of ghostly loneliness about it without players slapping domino tiles on table tops and answering fan mail in front of their lockers and yanking down the bills of their caps as they rush out to take early BP. Is April really still three-and-a-half months away?

The next best thing to the actual baseball season, though, is talking about it.

Up on a temporary stage, erected on the far right of the room near the starting pitchers’ lockers, Giants manager Bruce Bochy was sitting next to general manager Brian Sabean and taking questions from moderator Greg Papa.

“He’s the best all-around player that I’ve ever seen because he can play everywhere,” Bochy was saying. “He has a very similar body type to Tony Gwynn.”

He was talking about Pablo Sandoval, who embarked on a rigorous conditioning and weight-loss program during the off-season, a one-man camp the Giants dubbed “Operation Panda.”

“Obviously,” Sabean cracked, nodding at Bochy and himself, “we haven’t been in the same camp.”

Packed into the room, in rows of chairs bordered by four walls of lockers, were season-ticket holders who had been invited to talk baseball with Bochy, Sabean, managing general partner Bill Neukom and relief pitcher Sergio Romo.

Asked by Papa if two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum’s stuff matches up with the all-time greats, Bochy didn’t hesitate.

“Sure it does. He’s by far the best pitcher I’ve ever seen. When you have four pitches, especially the best or close to the best changeup in baseball right now, he’s up there among the greats. He’s a thinker out there and knows what the opposing team is doing and that’s why he’s won two Cy Young Awards.”

What’s interesting about him,” Sabean said, “is in college he would throw 140 pitches on a Friday night and then be the closer for his team on Sunday. He’s proved to have a rubber arm and has an inner strength that other people don’t have. He’s fearless and he thinks that on any given day that he’s better than anyone else.”

Perhaps the highlight of the evening was Sergio Romo. He’s a player that fans don’t know very well yet, and last night they got a glimpse of his sense of humor and his boyish excitement for the game – starting with the fact he was texting his mother as he climbed onto the stage to tell he was going to be on television.

You’re from Brawley, California, near Los Angeles,” Papa said, “so who was your favorite team growing up?”

No comment,” Romo said, smiling. “Let’s just say I started hating the Dodgers the second I put on a Giants uniform.”

After struggling with injuries last season, he said he’s “very excited for the season to start . . . I miss my number 54 on my back.”

When Papa opened the discussion to questions, one of the first was an update on the Giants’ up and coming players.

“Peguero is a young outfielder that we just placed on our 40-man roster,” Sabean said. “He’s a lot like Sandoval in that he has a lot of energy. Thomas Neal came into his own last year and developed an all-around game. Brandon Crawford is going to be our shortstop of the future. We have a flow of talent that people will be proud of.”

As for the readiness of pitcher Madison Bumgarner and catcher Buster Posey, Bochy said, “I really think that they can start for us next year. Posey is gonna be a front line catcher and he’s on the fast track. Bumgarner did a heck of a job last year when Timmy went down. Here are two tremendous kids that stood out and both held their own. I’m curious to see how Buster looks this spring.”

One fan wanted to know about keeping Lincecum and fellow pitcher Matt Cain as Giants for the long haul.

“Cain has two more years before free agency,” Sabean said, “and Lincecum has four more and is going through arbitration right now. We are in a good situation because they both want to be Giants for a long time.”

Sabean also addressed the decision not to resign veteran pitcher Brad Penny.

“We had a short window and in our estimation we thought we had home court in our situation. We couldn’t bring ourselves to overpay when we have Madison Bumgarner in the wings.”

Still want more? Tune in to a full broadcast of the event on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area on January 15 at 6:30 p.m.

Some shots from the taping:

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Sabean’s Strategy

Giants general manager Brian Sabean is honing a skill not innate to a baseball man who cut his teeth at the New York Yankees.

Patience.

“The market right now is as slow or slower than last year in developing,” he said during a break today from internal strategy meetings in preparation for next week’s winter meetings in Indianapolis.

“Whether teams are still getting their budgets together or what, the free agent market has yet to develop. Players and agents are slow to do anything. It’s a sign of the times.”

Sabean said the Giants last week offered a one-year deal to pitcher Brad Penny, and yesterday offered one year and an option to infielder Juan Uribe. Both offers were declined. “At this time I’m not sure there will be further discussion,” Sabean said. (He said veteran catcher Bengie Molina probably has been offered a multi-year deal by another team, essentially guaranteeing he would not return to the Giants.)

Sabean’s strategy in building the 2010 team boils down to three basic – but difficult — questions:

How can the Giants maximize the talent they already have?

What can be accomplished on the free-agent market?

Are there smart trades to be made – and what homegrown talent is the team willing to give up in order to secure valuable immediate help (such as a bigger bat in the lineup)?

“What we’re doing right now – to get a bat, to figure out the catching situation, everything – is due diligence,” Sabean said.

In other words, there is no magic formula. No shortcuts. No blockbuster, bold-headline quick fixes. Just hours and days and weeks of poring over scouting reports and statistics, working the phones and updating the huge erasable boards with lists of free agents and players likely the trading block, plus evaluating in every possible way the Giants’ own prospects. (Who among them will blossom into big-impact major-leaguers, and when?)

“In a perfect world, you’d love to have (Madison) Bumgarner and (Buster) Posey burst on the scene,” Sabean said. “But you don’t want to rush them. So you keep at it, at the grindstone, and be ready when the best opportunities pop.”

There might be interesting “secondary free agents,” Sabean said, “but maybe that doesn’t make as much sense as giving our own kids a chance. We have to continue to identify what we really have internally and not count on the outside world.”

Sabean mentioned two “burning questions” for the Giants:

If the Giants don’t get Penny and instead bring up Bumgarner, their top pitching prospect, they will have a particularly young starting rotation. So what do you do about the bullpen? Do you counterbalance that with a more veteran bullpen and, say, bring Bob Howry back?

What position does Pablo Sandoval play? If he stays at third, what options are available to upgrade the situation at first base outside the organization?

“In the past, we’ve been more aggressive,” Sabean said. “But we’re willing to go at the pace of the marketplace and show more patience. Trades don’t have to be made at the winter meetings. So people shouldn’t read anything into it if nothing happens in Indianapolis. It’s just not a very sexy market at this time.

“But we’ll come home with more information. It’s a fact-finding mission to figure out who matches up with us in terms of free-agent interest. We’ll have a clearer picture of trade scenarios. We’ll find who our partners might be and how we can do business.”

Chat with Giants’ GM Sabean:

Brian Sabean will participate in a live Web chat from the Major League Baseball winter meetings in Indianapolis on Wednesday, December 9 at 1 p.m. PT. Fans are invited to chat with the GM about his goals for the club during the week’s Winter Meetings. To participate in the chat, please register at: 

http://mlb.mlb.com/fan_forum/chat.jsp

How to Eat Like a Panda

Kathleen
Woolf is the nutritionist from Arizona State University who is
guiding the food and drink component of Operation Panda, Pablo
Sandoval’s off-season conditioning regimen.

She
recently sent me an email with nutrition tips for athletes – and
the rest us — so none of us blow up like Macy’s balloons during
the next month.

Here
is her advice:

Tis
the season to……eat? Beginning at Thanksgiving and continuing
through Super Bowl Sunday, celebrations and family gatherings are
more abundant than at any other time of the year. Foods and
beverages, rich in fats and sugars, are the center of many of these
occasions. Also, many athletes do not maintain their usual training
routines during the holidays. Follow these tips to help you navigate
through the holiday season, without compromising your health or
performance.

*
BEGIN EVERY DAY WITH BREAKFAST!

Even
if you are still full from the night before, start each day with
breakfast. A healthy breakfast should include whole grains, fruit,
dairy and protein. Try having oatmeal, a banana, and low fat milk. If
you include a small amount of protein (yogurt, egg whites, or peanut
butter), you may stay full until lunch.

*
AVOID TOO MANY SWEETS!

Holiday
desserts and treats are full of sugars and fats. To avoid over-
indulging, eat a healthy snack before heading out to a party. Choose
whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean meats,
and nuts as they supply the body with proteins, vitamins and
minerals. Your intake of holiday sweets will be less and you can
spend your time socializing rather than over indulging.

*
STAY PROPERLY HYDRATED!

Soda,
eggnog and alcoholic beverages are plentiful at this time of the
year. However, focus instead on drinking water and eating five or
more servings of fruits and vegetables per day to keep your body well
hydrated. To monitor your hydration status, check your urine color
first thing in the morning. When well hydrated, urine is pale yellow
without a strong odor. Dark yellow, infrequent urine suggests
dehydration.

*
CHOOSE WISELY!

During
the holiday season, many meals will be eaten in restaurants. Make
good choices to keep your health in check. When ordering, ask your
server how foods are prepared. Choose steamed, baked, boiled,
grilled or broiled selections. Be sure to order mayonnaise, butter,
cream-based sauces, and salad dressings on the side. You can then
monitor the amount that gets added to your food.

Pablo
is heading back home to Venezuela, where he will play winter ball.
His brother, Michael, will help keep him on track by advising their
mother on what to cook and by making sure Pablo brings his own food
to the ballpark every day.

He
will still perform cardio and weight lifting,” Giants strength
and conditioning coach Ben Potenziano said. “The shift has gone
(from working out several hours a day) to playing baseball every day
for 9 innings. I added cardio earlier in the day so he can recover
and provide his body with food it needs to function prior to the
game.

His
lifting has shifted to a full body workout 3 to 4 times

per
week. He will continue to maintain strength that will carry him

through
winter ball and then back to me in Arizona. I will turn up the

intensity
when he gets back and become more sports specific.

He
will be fielding, throwing and hitting more at that point as well.
His diet will not change. He will consult with Kathleen and me and we
can make adjustments to his workload. He did well with his exact
consultation and Pablo should be proud of himself.”

I’ll
try to contact Pablo in Venezuela to get an update on how he’s
doing.

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