Results tagged ‘ Andres Torres ’

Tight quad sidelines Molina again; picture Torres

SAN FRANCISCO — Catcher Bengie Molina was out of the lineup for the second game in a row with tightness in his quadriceps. Eli Whiteside replaced Molina, the Giants’ cleanup hitter who’s batting .261 with 15 home runs and 64 RBIs.

Manager Bruce Bochy sounded optimistic that Molina would return soon. But he didn’t want to rush the veteran. “Let’s get that thing healthy,” Bochy said, referring to Molina’s injury.

Third baseman Pablo Sandoval (strained right calf) also began his second consecutive game on the bench, though he remained available to pinch-hit, as he did Tuesday night.

The Giants want both Molina and Sandoval at full strength by Friday, when they begin their critical three-game rematch against the Colorado Rockies.

*****

The Giants posed for their team picture Wednesday, and it was too bad that outfielder Andres Torres wasn’t around. Torres is playing in Arizona as he recovers from a hamstring injury.

Torres hustled his way onto the Opening Day roster and was instrumental in a couple of victories earlier this season. The team photo simply wouldn’t be complete without him.

– Chris Haft

 

Torres to DL, Bowker returns

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants placed outfielder Andres Torres on the 15-day disabled list with an strained left hamstring Friday and replaced him on the active roster by recalling first baseman-outfielder John Bowker from Triple-A Fresno.

With right fielder Nate Schierholtz and infielder Rich Aurilia already on the disabled list, Torres’ injury further diluted the Giants’ contingent of position players. That, manager Bruce Bochy explained, was why the Giants had hoped to avoid sidelining Torres.

“He’s very valuable on this ballclub,” Bochy said. “It’s a tough loss for us.”

Torres hurt himself as he rounded first base on a fly out to right field in Thursday night’s second inning. He said that this injury wasn’t as serious as the one which affected the same hamstring and forced him to the DL in late April. But Torres plays at one gear — fast — which leaves him susceptible to mishaps. He was running full speed although he had hit a routine fly.

“I have to learn when to go hard and when not to,” Torres said.

Torres’ overall numbers, which include a .247 batting average, two home runs, 13 RBIs and five stolen bases in five tries spanning 53 games, aren’t overwhelming. But he contributed significantly to each of the Giants’ four consecutive victories:

– His two-run triple was the biggest hit in Monday’s three-run second inning that lifted the Giants to a 4-2 decision over Pittsburgh;

– He doubled and scored what proved to be a key run in the seventh inning of Tuesday’s 3-2 win;

– Despite going 0-for-4 Wednesday, he drew a two-out walk that prolonged the 10th inning for Randy Winn’s single, which scored the game’s lone run and concluded San Francisco’s three-game sweep of Pittsburgh;

– After Philadelphia jumped ahead with a first-inning run Thursday, Torres stimulated the Giants with a leadoff bunt single that ignited a two-run uprising in their half of the inning and reclaimed momentum for them.

Bowker’s stay could be extremely brief. Bochy hinted that Bowker could return to Fresno when newly acquired second baseman Freddy Sanchez is activated before Saturday’s game.

– Chris Haft 

Torres makes things happen; Wild Card musings

OAKLAND — At best, Andres Torres ranks as the Giants’ fourth outfielder. But he moved to the front of the line as a source of the Giants’ success in their 4-1 victory Tuesday night over the Oakland A’s.

Torres coaxed a first-inning walk on Vin Mazzaro’s 3-2 pitch and opened the scoring by rushing home on Pablo Sandoval’s double. Many runners might have held at third base. But third-base coach Tim Flannery, aiming to capitalize on Torres’ speed, waved the speedster home. Sure enough, A’s shortstop Orlando Cabrera’s hurried relay flew high and wide.

“He ignited us,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Torres. “That showed you what speed can do. He plays with a lot of energy, which you love.”

Torres helped seal the victory by making a not-so-routine catch of Adam Kennedy’s fly ball against the wall down the left-field line in foul territory. It ended the seventh inning and stranded two A’s baserunners.

“He probably saved us with that catch,” Bochy said.

Torres’ grab propelled Tim Lincecum to his complete-game victory. “I thought he was going to run into the wall, which he did, but it was nice the ball stayed in the playing field,” Lincecum said of Torres’ grab. “I was as pumped as anybody else.”

Torres, who wouldn’t boast about his skills if you paid him, explained that common sense helped him make the play on Kennedy’s fly. Kennedy, said Torres, had been trying to hit the ball to the opposite field all evening — probably a wise ploy against Lincecum. So, said Torres, “I tried to play that way a little bit.”

Encountering the wall didn’t concern Torres in the least. “I was just trying to catch the ball,” he said.

*****

I was all set to devote a sentence or two in my game wrapup to the Giants staying ahead in the National League Wild Card race. First, however, while waiting to interview Lincecum in the Giants clubhouse, I heard a player watch a televised sports report — I couldn’t tell which network was airing it — that trumpeted the Wild Card standings. This player shook his head in mild disgust. “Five years from now they’ll be talking about the Wild Card in April,” he told the Giant sitting next to him.

Translation: It’s far too early to make a big deal about the Wild Card. So I opted not to contribute to the hype.

I’ll occasionally mention it in the near future, though. It’s relevant to monitor, since the Giants’ position likely will influence what general manager Brian Sabean does or doesn’t do before the July 31 trade deadline. But getting overly worked up about it and delivering twice-daily updates is probably premature.

– Chris Haft 

 

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More position-player shuffling in store

SAN FRANCISCO — Manager Bruce Bochy sounded like an editor Wednesday when he said that adding catcher Steve Holm to the club will enable the Giants to have “better coverage.”

Bochy meant better coverage at catcher, a position Bengie Molina had manned for every inning of the previous 13 games. The Giants added Holm not just to serve as Molina’s occasional backup while Pablo Sandoval continues to play third base. Holm will enable the Giants to rest Molina in the late innings, sparing the veteran some wear and tear.

And, of course, Bochy still has the option of doing what he did Wednesday: Starting Sandoval behind the plate and inserting capable utilityman Juan Uribe at third. If Bochy had to remove Sandoval for some reason or switch him to another position, Molina could continue to rest, as long as Holm’s around.

Before the Giants could recall Holm, he had to heal a bruised right elbow he sustained when he was hit by a pitch on April 13. Holm rested a few days before playing Saturday and Sunday for Triple-A Fresno.

Most observers figured that the Giants would summon Holm at some point, given their stated desire to keep a three-catcher contingent (including Sandoval). But Holm himself assumed nothing.

“I didn’t know,” Holm said. “You don’t want to get caught up in stuff like that.”

As has been reported, Holm’s arrival shrank the pitching staff to 11, since reliever Alex Hinshaw was optioned to Fresno. But with only four scheduled off-days between May 1 and the All-Star break that begins July 13, San Francisco’s pitchers could be susceptible to fatigue, meaning another move will have to be made.

“My guess is we’ll go back to 12 (pitchers) at some point,” Bochy said.

Once the Giants feel that need, Holm won’t necessarily be the position player who disappears to the Minors. Eugenio Velez or Andres Torres could be vulnerable instead.

– Chris Haft

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