Notes: Sanchez searching for role
Giants still considering southpaw for both starting, relief duties
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Jonathan Sanchez may have found his arm slot. Finding a role for him is up to the Giants.Unlike last year, when manager Bruce Bochy expressed reluctance to switch Sanchez between starting and relieving, the left-hander might fill whatever need happens to be the most pressing.
"We'll put him where we think he can help this ballclub," Bochy said Saturday.Sanchez is challenging Kevin Correia for the fifth starter's spot, but although he's being "stretched out" to pitch multiple innings, moving to a relief role would not be a difficult transition, at least physically. Meanwhile, Sanchez again looked sharp in his second throwing session off a bullpen mound. So far, he has eased the Giants' concerns about his struggles to repeat his delivery. "It's going to make a big difference in his command of his pitches," Bochy said. Eyes on the prize: Some of outfielder Rajai Davis' catches last year had to be seen to be believed. Yet Davis believed he could make them because he already saw them, in a sense. Davis believes that by visualizing what he wants to do on the field, he can make it happen more easily.
"Seeing my successes before they actually happen -- that's what I started doing last year," said Davis, one of several position players to arrive in camp early.
"Seeing myself making diving catches, seeing myself robbing a home run. It's something I'm going to implement more this year because I have a little bit more knowledge."Davis is aware of the competition he faces. His best chance for playing time appears to be as part of a left-field platoon with Dave Roberts, although Fred Lewis and Nate Schierholtz also will be striving for roles. Still, said Davis, "You can't put a lot of pressure on yourself. You may not perform like you want to."
Stance story: Eliezer Alfonzo credited his winter power surge to former Major League outfielder Tony Armas, who advised him to close his stance. With his front foot just a little closer to home plate, Alfonzo drilled 15 home runs in the regular season and seven more in the playoffs for Caribes to capture Most Valuable Player honors in the Venezuelan Winter League.This may have given Alfonzo an edge over Guillermo Rodriguez in the competition for the backup-catcher's spot. Recovering from the sprained left knee that sidelined Alfonzo much of last season may help him, too. "I feel 100 percent," Alfonzo said. "It's hard to fight when you're hurt." Short hops: Right-hander Keiichi Yabu, a non-roster invitee, has looked polished in his pair of throwing sessions. "You can tell he's just loaded with experience. He looks like he's close to being game-ready and he knows what he's doing," Bochy said of the 39-year-old Yabu, who pitched 11 years with Hanshin in Japan before spending 2005 with the Oakland A's. Yabu pitched in the Mexican League in 2006 after Colorado released him in Spring Training and did not pitch professionally last year. ... The Giants worked out Saturday under gray, threatening skies, but the rain held off and the fields remained dry enough to allow the team to complete all activities. ... First baseman Dan Ortmeier joined the ranks of early-arriving position players.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.