Results tagged ‘ Fred Lewis ’

Bochy on Lewis, Ishikawa

SAN FRANCISCO — As Dodgers left-hander Eric Stults throws his first pitch of the second inning to the backstop on the fly, I’ll try to readjust my focus to some of the more relevant subjects from Giants manager Bruce Bochy’s pregame address Wednesday.

Bochy addressed the issue of left fielder Fred Lewis, who struck out three times in each of the previous two games. Bochy said that Lewis’ struggles have nothing to do with his elevation to the leadoff spot. Rather, Lewis is having trouble catching up with hard stuff and adjusting to soft stuff — which is a dreadful combination.

“He’s late with his setup and his swing,” Bochy said. “He’s getting caught in between. He’s late on the fastball and out in front on the breaking ball.”

Bochy also noticed a difference in Lewis’ stance. His back was turned slightly more toward the pitcher’s mound. “That may be part of why he’s not seeing the ball as well,” Bochy said.

Lewis improved somewhat in his first two plate appearances Wednesday, flying out to the edge of the warning track and grounding out to shortstop.

Before addressing reporters, Bochy sat at one end of the dugout with Travis Ishikawa, discussing the first baseman’s baserunning from the previous evening. Ishikawa was doubled off third base on Emmanuel Burriss’ line drive, ending the sixth inning.

“We definitely have to improve on the bases,” Bochy said. “This past week’s been a rough one for us.”

If you’re a Giants fan, you would have been encouraged to see a relatively inexperienced player like Ishikawa receive assertive yet constructive feedback directly from the skipper.

– Chris Haft

A scary, scary moment

SAN FRANCISCO — As of this moment, Joe Martinez’s condition remains unknown. We’re all praying that he’s OK.

Martinez needed one out to end the Giants’ 7-1 victory Thursday over the Milwaukee Brewers when Mike Cameron slammed a line drive back at the right-hander. The ball struck the right side of Martinez’s forehead with such force that the ball caromed all the way back to the Brewers’ dugout on the first-base side.

Martinez remained conscious but wisely sat on the mound, not trying to move and allowing Giants athletic trainers to attend to him. An angry red mark could be seen on Martinez’s forehead. Meanwhile, numerous players began praying — Brian Wilson, leaning against the Giants dugout railing; shortstop Edgar Renteria and all three outfielders, squatting on the outfield grass; Cameron, hunched over at second base and visibly upset. Randy Winn and Fred Lewis came over to console Cameron.

Giants head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner held a bandage to Martinez’s forehead as the pitcher walked off the field under his own power — an encouraging sign.

– Chris Haft  

Now we know it’s baseball season: Mays is here

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The Giants were graced Monday by the arrival of Willie Howard Mays, who needs no introduction.

Mays appeared in camp to begin his annual visit. As is often the case, he avoided giving formal interviews, though he reversed roles by eagerly quizzing reporters about Giants players.

Mays, who continues to revel in the company of ballplayers, welcomed shortstop Edgar Renteria to the Giants and chatted animatedly with left fielder Fred Lewis and infielder Emmanuel Burriss.

– Chris Haft

Reporting Day leftovers

The world “leftovers” in the headline isn’t meant to be dismissive. After all, leftovers are usually good for a couple of days. So snack on these morsels as you wait for the Giants to officially start Spring Training:

– Manager Bruce Bochy said Saturday that players will engage in conditioning exercises at the end of workouts instead of at the beginning. “One of the primary reasons I changed it was that I want these guys to have their legs fresh as they’re going through fundamentals and the pitchers are throwing on the side,” Bochy said.

– Left fielder Fred Lewis visited Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., in December to approve baseball spikes made specially for him. Lewis underwent surgery last September to have a bunion removed from his right big toe and actually has another bunion on his left foot that hasn’t yet proved bothersome. The shoes, he said, contain a mesh material around the toes to provide flexibility. Lewis expects to be ready to play in the Giants’ Feb. 25 Cactus League opener against Cleveland, although he hasn’t tried moving side to side or cutting sharply on his feet. “I feel like a little kid in a candy store,” Lewis said. “I can’t wait to get out there on the field. I feel like I have something to prove all over again.”

– Bochy named right-handers Kevin Pucetas, Joseph Martinez and Ramon Ortiz and left-hander Pat Misch as candidates to start if Martians abducted a member or two of the existing rotation (my words, not Bochy’s). Pucetas owns a 32-7 Minor League record but hasn’t pitched above Class A; Martinez led the Eastern League with a 2.49 ERA for Double-A Connecticut last year; Ortiz will prepare to pitch long relief as well as start; and Misch started 20 games in 2008 for Triple-A Fresno and the Giants.

– Bochy indicated that left-hander Randy Johnson’s training regimen will be adjusted to accommodate the 45-year-old’s history of back problems. “When you’ve been in the game as long as he has and you’ve had the success that he’s had, he has a routine and we certainly don’t want to change it,” Bochy said. When a reporter mentioned that the Arizona Diamondbacks protected Johnson last spring by prohibiting him from hitting in exhibition games, Bochy said, “We do want him to take a few swings so when he gets in a game he doesn’t hurt himself.” Bochy won’t completely baby Johnson either, judging from his response when another reporter mentioned PFP (pitchers’ fielding practice). “He’ll spend some time there, maybe not as much as a Jesse English,” Bochy said, humorously referring to the rookie right-hander who finished 13-7 last year for Class A San Jose.

– Chris Haft

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