Results tagged ‘ Emmanuel Burriss ’

Burriss could be back this season

Thursday, March 25
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The Giants remain hopeful that infielder Emmanuel Burriss can play later this season after undergoing surgery last Sunday on his twice-fractured left foot.

Noted foot and ankle specialist Dr. Robert Anderson performed the procedure in Charlotte, N.C., replacing the screw inserted in Burriss’ foot after last July’s injury with a larger, longer screw. Ideally, this will prevent recurrences of the injury, such as the one Burriss endured in the Giants’ exhibition opener March 3. Giants head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner said Thursday that Dr. Anderson also extracted some bone marrow from Burriss’ hip and sprayed it across the fracture to facilitate healing.

Groeschner said that Burriss will on crutches for 10 to 14 days before shifting to a walking boot. If all goes well, the 25-year-old switch-hitter could be back on the field in 10 weeks.

Had Burriss remained healthy, he would have had a strong chance of making the Opening Day roster, given his ability to play second base and shortstop with equal skill. Kevin Frandsen’s just as versatile, if not more, but the Giants’ braintrust values Burriss’ speed — which he must strive to regain after his latest mishap.

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Manager Bruce Bochy said that second baseman Freddy Sanchez, who has been hitting off a tee, will graduate to taking soft-toss batting practice Friday. Sanchez is still expected to be sidelined until late April or early May as he recovers from left shoulder surgery.

*****

A group of five position players defeated the starting pitchers in a pregame bunting contest, with a Frandsen bunt in the final round providing the difference.

“I consider that an upset,” Bochy said.

In the early rounds, participants were required to drop bunts within rectangles marked by strings about 20 feet up the first- and third-base lines in fair territory. Then third-base coach Tim Flannery, the team’s bunting guru who organized the contest, converted the rectangles to triangles, reducing the area for a “successful” bunt by more than half.

“It was a tough drill,” Bochy said. “A lot of them laid down perfect bunts that weren’t in the box.”

Tim Lincecum, Barry Zito, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez and Todd Wellemeyer represented the pitchers, while Frandsen, Andres Torres, Mark DeRosa, Pablo Sandoval and Eugenio Velez bearing the standard for the position players.

– Chris Haft

Ishikawa approaches return

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Travis Ishikawa could return to first base for the Giants by this weekend.

Ishikawa was expected to play first in a Minor League exhibition Wednesday, marking his initial appearance in the field this spring.

Ishikawa tore ligaments in his left foot before camp opened but has progressed steadily. He said that he accumulated 11 at-bats in Minor League intrasquad games Monday and Tuesday. While his Giants teammates enjoy Thursday’s off-day, Ishikawa will report to the Minor League complex to play another game. Barring setbacks, he believes that he can play in a Cactus League game by Friday or Saturday.

Ishikawa has tested his foot by running the bases after each game. “I don’t know what the speed looks like, but I’m pushing it pretty hard,” he said Wednesday.

The Giants will welcome Ishikawa’s return. Given starting first baseman Aubrey Huff’s occasional defensive struggles, Ishikawa likely will receive plenty of activity as a late-inning replacement this season.<p/>

*****

Wednesday was a promising day for what could be two-fifths of the Giants’ starting rotation.

Barry Zito worked 3 1/3 innings and allowed just one run despite yielding four hits and walking three. He faced a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the third inning when he forced ex-teammate Eric Chavez to hit a comebacker, generating a forceout at home plate. Catcher Bengie Molina barely missed completing an inning-ending double play with his throw to first.

Molina praised Zito’s ability to throw his fastball inside to right-handed batters. “I was very excited every time he hit that corner,” Molina said.

Right-hander Todd Wellemeyer, who’s moving closer to locking up the rotation’s fifth spot, pitched a perfect fifth inning in what amounted to a bullpen tuneup for his start Saturday against Cincinnati.

All spring, Wellemeyer has insisted that he feels like the pitcher who finished 13-9 with a 3.71 ERA in 2008 for St. Louis and not the one who slumped to 7-10, 5.89 last year. He never rested his arm during the 2008-09 offseason, and he notices the difference in his fastball velocity.

“Being able to throw in the mid-90s again is huge,” said Wellemeyer, who has allowed two runs in 10 innings. “Last year it was 90 and I was hoping [the hitters] couldn’t catch up to it. But they did.”

*****

Emmanuel Burriss and the Giants’ medical staff will consider multiple options when they discuss the next move in the infielder’s recovery from a broken bone in his left foot.

Burriss, 25, consulted noted orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Robert Anderson on Tuesday in North Carolina. Dr. Anderson should be a familiar figure to Bay Area sports fans. He performed surgery to fix the stress fracture in the left foot of San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree in March. Crabtree was physically ready to play for the Niners once he ended his holdout in October.

Dr. Anderson didn’t urge any particular course of action, and Burriss isn’t yet certain what he’ll do. He could elect to undergo another operation, which might involve removing the pin that was inserted when he broke his foot last July and replacing it with a larger pin. Or he could skip surgery and allow nature to heal his foot. Burriss also mentioned the possibility that he could forgo surgery and be walking normally in two weeks. That’s obviously far from a guarantee.

*****

The Giants trimmed their spring roster to 46 by optioning third baseman Conor Gillaspie to the Minor Leagues and reassigning the following players to Minor League camp: outfielder Roger Kieschnick, left-handers Craig Clark and Clayton Tanner and right-handers Rafael Cova, Steve Edlefsen, Eric Hacker, Osiris Matos, Dan Turpen and Craig Whitaker.<p/>

– Chris Haft

Burriss hurts foot; Huff starts slugging

PEORIA, Ariz. — Despite their 8-7, 10-inning victory Wednesday over the Seattle Mariners, the Giants endured an ominous beginning to the Cactus League season, as infielder Emmanuel Burriss apparently aggravated his injured left foot.

Burriss, who considered himself fully healed after breaking a bone in his foot last July, hit a two-run double in the fourth inning and stole third base. He left the game after doubling again in the sixth inning.

“He said he felt something in the same foot, same area,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He looked very dejected and discouraged. It’s been a long road for him.”

With second baseman Freddy Sanchez (left shoulder) likely to begin the season on the disabled list and Juan Uribe expected to replace him in the lineup, Burriss entered Spring Training with a strong chance to make the Opening Day roster as a backup middle infielder.

*****

Cleanup hitter Aubrey Huff immediately asserted himself by belting a two-run homer on the first pitch he saw from Mariners starter Doug Fister with one out in the first inning.

“He wants to make a good first impression,” Bochy said.

Huff downplayed his prowess. “[Fister] happened to throw a fastball right there,” he said.

*****

Huff was more impressed with left-hander Madison Bumgarner, who threw two shutout innings.

“His pickoff move — holy cow! He caught me off guard,” Huff said. “He has one of the best pickoff moves I’ve seen.”

Bumgarner’s fastball was clocked in the 89-90 mph range, a tad slower than his best velocity readings. Then again, pitching coach Dave Righetti advised him not to overthrow. “He said, ‘You’re not going to make the team on the first day,’ and that makes a lot of sense,” said Bumgarner, who’s competing for the fifth starter’s spot.

Bumgarner said that he maintained his concentration despite the recent death of his half-sister, Dena Byrd. “I think it would be hard for me to get distracted,” he said. “It’s a huge loss, but when I get on the mound, everything goes away and it’s just me and the catcher.”

*****

Bengie Molina, for one, doesn’t anticipate any retaliation directed toward Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder on Thursday, when the Giants and Brewers meet in Scottsdale.

“I think we don’t want anybody suspended to start the season,” Molina said.

Fielder angered the Giants last Sept. 6 when he punctuated his game-winning, 12th-inning homer with an obviously choreographed home-plate celebration.

*****

Aaron Rowand more than did his job as San Francisco’s leadoff batter, collecting two hits and a sacrifice fly in five innings.

“It’s always exciting to be the first guy up there, especially in the first game,” said Rowand, who singled to open the game. “But nothing overwhelming.”

Three pitches after his game-opening hit, Rowand was on the move as he scored on Fred Lewis’ triple.

“It was actually kind of neat to get that out of the way right away,” Rowand said. “Hopefully, I’ll have to do that quite a bit this year.”

*****

Referring to the game’s three-hour, 44-minute duration, one Giants coach sarcastically declared before heading for the team bus, “I can’t believe the sun’s still out.”

– Chris Haft

Giants announce callups

PHILADELPHIA — Most of the transactions the Giants announced Tuesday were expected, as roster limits expanded to 40 across the Major Leagues.

First baseman-outfielder John Bowker, first baseman Jesus Guzman and right-hander Waldis Joaquin were recalled from Triple-A Fresno. The left-handed-batting Bowker and the right-handed-swinging Guzman will give manager Bruce Bochy more options off the bench, while Joaquin, a hard thrower, will deepen the bullpen.

Infielder Rich Aurilia and outfielder Andres Torres were activated from the 15-day disabled list, providing even more depth.

In a procedural move, infielder Emmanuel Burriss, whose season ended prematurely with a broken foot, was recalled from Fresno and moved to the 60-day disabled list. This cleared a roster spot for right-hander Brad Penny, whose Minor League contract was purchased. Penny will start Wednesday here, filling the No. 5 spot in the pitching rotation.

– Chris Haft

Burriss to undergo surgery; Rowand turns in gem

SAN FRANCISCO — Infielder Emmanuel Burriss’ season possibly has been ended by his broken left foot.

Burriss, who fractured his fifth metatarsal while running the bases earlier this week while playing for Triple-A Fresno, will undergo surgery on Friday in San Francisco and is expected to miss at least two months. Dr. Larry Oloff, the Giants’ foot specialist, will perform the procedure.

Burriss, 24, opened the season as the Giants’ starting second baseman but was optioned to Fresno on June 16. He appeared in San Francisco’s first 56 games but ultimately was compromised by his offensive inconsistency. He hit .238 in 61 games. With Fresno, Burriss hit .268 in 17 games.

Despite his demotion, Burriss remained valued by the Giants for his speed, ability to switch hit and flair for the spectacular on defense. The organization has continued to envision him as a potential starting middle infielder.

*****

Aaron Rowand turned in the play of the day Wednesday in the Giants’ 7-0 loss to Florida, catching up with Wes Helms’ fifth-inning drive and grabbing it a step in front of the left-center field wall. Rowand held onto the ball despite bumping into the wall close to the 404-foot marker.

Giants right-hander Ryan Sadowski appreciated the defensive support. Initially, Sadowski didn’t even turn around to follow the ball’s flight, since he was convinced that Helms had hit a home run. “I thought it was way gone,” Sadowski said.

Then he quickly became mindful of his pitcher-friendly surroundings and had a change of heart.

“I know this is a big yard, so let’s see what [Rowand] does with it,” Sadowski said.

– Chris Haft

Burriss rescues Big Unit; another Romo signs

WASHINGTON — Behind most big pitching victories lies impressive defense. This was proven again in Randy Johnson’s 300th victory on Thursday, which featured an outstanding and probably game-saving play by second baseman Emmanuel Burriss.

With runners on first and second, nobody out and the Giants clinging to a 2-0 lead in the fifth inning, Burriss made a diving stop of Ronnie Belliard’s one-hopper up the middle and shoveled the ball from his glove to shortstop Edgar Renteria to start a double play.

Johnson was appreciative, to say the least.

“That could have turned the whole game around if that was a base hit,” Johnson said.

Guzman’s smash caromed off the first-base side of the pitcher’s mound, which might have been a break for the Giants.

“I think its hitting the mound helped me get to it,” Burriss said, “because it was hit pretty hard and it took that high bounce off the mound and enabled me to gain some ground on it.”

Burriss said that Johnson’s immediate reaction was muted. But the Big Unit made sure Burriss knew how much that play meant.

“Right after the play he gave me one of those looks like, ‘atta boy,’ said Burriss, who added that Johnson was too mentally focused to gush over him or any other teammates in the dugout between innings.

After the game, Johnson gave Burriss a proper tribute.

“He came up to me and said, ‘great play.’ It was awesome,” Burriss related. “Everybody behind him wanted to do their part to help him get to that milestone.”

*****

The independent Golden Baseball League announced Thursday that the Giants have purchased the contract of right-hander Andrew Romo from the Tucson Toros, a club in that league. Romo, 21, is the younger brother of Giants reliever Sergio Romo.

Sergio Romo compared Andrew to himself, in that they both like to throw sinking fastballs, curveballs and changeups.

“I think he has potential, and potential can get you a long way in this business, as long as he puts in the work and listens to direction,” Sergio said of Andrew.

The younger Romo “sold” the Giants on Tuesday, when he yielded just an unearned run in three innings while striking out four in a Golden League game.

It was not immediately known which Minor League affiliate Romo will initially join.

– Chris Haft

Burriss seizes chance to swing

SAN FRANCISCO — With, two outs, a run in, Fred Lewis on third base and the Giants leading 3-0 in Friday night’s fourth inning, the St. Louis Cardinals elected to pitch to Emmanuel Burriss, San Francisco’s eighth-place hitter. The alternative, which some teams might have selected, would have involved walking Burriss to face pitcher Matt Cain.

But St. Louis refused to bypass Burriss, who singled home Lewis for what proved to be a key run (they all are in close, low-scoring games) in the Giants’ 4-2 victory.

Burriss actually wasn’t surprised that the Cardinals pitched to him.

“Cain swings the bat pretty well,” Burriss reminded. “He’s not like a run-of-the-mill pitcher. He probably has more pop than I do. So having him behind me, I knew I was going to see some pitches.”

More pop, indeed, Cain has hit four career home runs to one for Burriss.

Burriss continued the Giants’ recent productivity with two outs. They’ve recorded 22 of their last 30 RBIs in those situations.

– Chris Haft

Every day in uniform’s a good day; so are days out of uniform

SAN FRANCISCO — It was suggested after the Giants’ 6-3 victory Wednesday over Atlanta, which completed a three-game sweep and gave them four wins in their last five games, that Thursday’s scheduled off-day was ill-timed and might halt the team’s momentum.

But center fielder Aaron Rowand, an expert in team dynamics, wasn’t worried.

“Honestly, I don’t think anybody’s really thinking about that,” Rowand said. “During a 162-game season, any off-day’s welcome. I don’t think an off-day is going to stop any sort of momentum. I think everybody’s pretty excited about the way we played the last three days and we’re going to try to carry it on against the Cardinals.”

Manager Bruce Bochy, however, stuck to the time-honored philosophy. “You’d rather have the off-day when you’re struggling a little bit,” he said.

*****

One Giant who can use the off-day is right fielder Randy Winn, who left the game after fouling a pitch off his left knee in the fifth inning. Winn insisted afterward that he felt OK, and he appeared to walk through the clubhouse without limping.

*****

It got overlooked by the Randy Johnson victory countdown and the rousing offense, but the play of the game had to be second baseman Emmanuel Burriss’ running catch of Matt Diaz’s pop-up to open the fifth inning. Burriss sped into foul ground and snared the ball near the right-field bullpen.

*****

Bengie Molina’s fifth-inning single interrupted a 2-for-35 slump. However, Molina came to the plate twice more and was retired both times, extending his skid to 3-for-38.

Rowand ascends to leadoff spot

SAN DIEGO — At the very moment I started to write this, Aaron Rowand doubled off the left-field wall in Wednesday’s fifth inning for his second hit of the game against the San Diego Padres.

Perhaps that’s an indication that manager Bruce Bochy’s lineup innovation will help Rowand and the Giants.

Bochy moved Rowand to the leadoff berth, which he last occupied May 30, 2007 as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies.

“I just wanted to shake things up a little bit,” went Bochy’s simple explanation. After all, the Giants ranked 14th in the National League in runs scored entering Wednesday.

Rowand, who has hit fifth, sixth and seventh this season, backed Bochy’s decision.

“He asked me what my thoughts were, and I said, ‘I don’t mind,’ ” Rowand said. “If he wants to put me in the ‘one’ hole, I’m completely fine with it.”

Rowand also joked, “I told him it’s about time he realized he should put speed at the top of the lineup, anyway.”

Though Rowand began the game with a .246 batting average, he probably can’t do much worse than the recent Giants leadoff hittters. Fred Lewis and Emmanuel Burriss hit proficiently lower in the order but slumped when Bochy switched them to leadoff. Lewis and Burriss batted .197 and .148, respectively, at leadoff.

Overall, the Giants’ leadoff numbers have been dreadful. Their No. 1 hitters began this game ranked last in the NL in several offensive categories, including batting average (.208), runs (14) and OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage, .555). The respective league averages in those categories were .265, 25 and .720.

Rowand spent some time at leadoff during his 2001-05 tenure with the Chicago White Sox, starting 59 games in 73 appearances at that spot before Wednesday. His performance as a leadoff man was respectable, demonstrated by his .293 average and .882 OPS. Rowand also collected 15 home runs and 43 RBIs in 259 at-bats while hitting leadoff.

Of course, a leadoff batter might actually hit first only once a game, as Rowand noted. Thus, he said he felt no pressure to change his hitting approach. “It’s not anything different from hitting anywhere else in the lineup,” he said.

– Chris Haft 

 

Leftovers from Giants 2, Mets 0 (5/17/09)

SAN FRANCISCO — A lot happened in this riveting game that couldn’t be squeezed into game coverage. In no particular order:

– Breaking down Matt Cain’s triumph was relatively simple. He limited Carlos Beltran, Gary Sheffield and David Wright, New York’s 3-4-5 hitters, to one hit in their first three plate appearances. In the series’ previous three games, that trio combined for 16 hits in their first three plate appearances.

– Kevin Frandsen went 0-for-4 in his (likely brief) return to the Giants, but he still contributed to the victory. He made a slick short-hop pickup as he charged Sheffield’s sixth-inning grounder, and he quickly collaborated with second baseman Emmanuel Burriss on an eighth-inning double play.

– After stealing 13 bases in the series’ first three games, the Mets had none in this one. Bengie Molina threw out Wright at second base in New York’s lone attempted theft.

– Cain on his three consecutive walks in the second inning: “I felt good. I was just missing a little bit here, a little bit there. He [plate umpire Brian Knight] wasn’t giving a ton either. So it was going to have to be that [kind of] day where you’re going to have to get it over the plate a little bit.”

– Brian Wilson, downplaying his ability to bounce back from absorbing defeats Thursday and Friday in the series’ first two games: “That’s what every closer is supposed to do.”

– Chris Haft 

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