PHOENIX -- Pablo Sandoval will tolerate serving as the Giants' emergency catcher. That's the diplomatic way of describing his feelings about the situation.Sandoval caught extensively in the Minor Leagues but hasn't squatted behind the plate for the Giants since May 8, 2009. Asked what he has missed about catching, Sandoval replied, "Nothing." He also warned, "If I catch here, the next day I'm going to be super-sore." Nevertheless, Sandoval remained willing to help the team in any way possible, which he confirmed during a chat with manager Bruce Bochy.
"If he needs me, I'm there," Sandoval said. "I'm fine with that."Entering his fourth full Major League season, Sandoval caught 176 games in the Minors but only 14 in 455 appearances with the Giants.
Theriot gets Opening Day nod at second
PHOENIX -- Sensing the need for an experienced presence in the infield, Manager Bruce Bochy decided to start Ryan Theriot over Emmanuel Burriss in Friday's season opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks.Theriot entered the game with 182 starts at second base in approximately six Major League seasons. Burriss has started 111 games at second in three seasons, a comparable ratio. But Bochy pointed out that the rest of San Francisco's Opening Day infield lacked seasoning. Pablo Sandoval started his 371st game at third base against Arizona, but shortstop Brandon Crawford and first baseman Brandon Belt made their 54th and 20th starts, respectively. Bochy admitted that he would have felt proud to start Burriss, which would have given the Giants an all-homegrown infield.
"Don't think that didn't cross my mind," Bochy said.Theriot also hit effectively in limited encounters against Arizona starter Ian Kennedy, batting .333 (3-for-9). That partly accounted for Theriot's presence in the batting order's seventh spot, one day after Bochy said that Crawford would bat seventh. Instead, Crawford hit eighth. Bochy said that Crawford, who sprained his left thumb in Monday's exhibition against Oakland, likely will ascend to the seventh spot once he accumulates at-bats and establishes his timing at the plate.
Vogelsong slated for one more rehab start
PHOENIX -- Ryan Vogelsong likely will rejoin the Giants' starting rotation after he starts for Triple-A Fresno against Las Vegas next Tuesday.Vogelsong, whose Spring Training preparation was derailed by back spasms, pitched four shutout innings Thursday night in Fresno's season opener at Tucson, Ariz. The right-hander yielded three hits while walking three and striking out six. "My back feels good, my arm feels good, everything feels good today," Vogelsong said Friday. "No surprises. Vogelsong likely will make his first appearance for the Giants on April 15, the earliest occasion when the Giants would need a fifth starter. Vogelsong wryly noted the parallels between this season and last year. In 2011, he started twice for Fresno, including the season opener, before the Giants summoned him. He faced the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets in his first two starts. Should Vogelsong avoid any setbacks, he'll again pitch twice for Fresno before confronting Pittsburgh and New York. The sequence worked nicely for Vogelsong last year, as he won nine of his first 10 decisions and made the National League All-Star team. Manager Bruce Bochy reiterated that second baseman Freddy Sanchez, who's still striving to recover from his dislocated right shoulder, could join Fresno next week on an injury-rehabilitation assignment.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.