SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Among those eager to see Freddy Sanchez manning second base again is the guy who will share the keystone with him: shortstop Brandon Crawford.
But Crawford has some background with Sanchez from 2011, and he says everything has been smooth with the second basemen he has worked with this spring, including Friday starter Joaquin Arias and the others who are seeing time there early this spring.
"I definitely feel it's a big deal to have good chemistry with the second baseman and kind of know what each other's thinking at all times and how to position each other, that kind of thing," Crawford said Friday. "But everybody I've played with here, it's an easy transition. It may take a practice or two to get in sync, but we communicate pretty well with whoever's in there. It's a pretty easy transition."
So, too, has it been an easy transition for Crawford to go through camp as the starting shortstop in his third Major League camp, the first one he's expected to break with the big club.
"I'm going into each day like the last couple of years, playing my hardest and competing like I have every other camp," said Crawford. "But it's nice to know that management has the confidence in me this year to put me out there."
Sanchez feels good in first spring game
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It's not the final test of his surgically repaired right shoulder, but Freddy Sanchez was back on the field Friday, feeling the adrenaline a little more than normal as he had four at-bats as a designated hitter against the Reds.
"It's been awhile here, nine months, so you definitely have a little anxiousness to you that you want to go out there and not embarrass yourself too bad," said Sanchez, who went 1-for-4 in his debut.
"I don't know," Sanchez said with a smile. "I mean, I saw a couple of my swings today, and my thumb's still hurting from that little blooper I got in there.
"But, you know, it's nice, it feels good just to be out there with the guys. Obviously, the results don't matter at all. I just want to go out there, see some pitches. It just felt good to be back out there."
The results included a flare to left off Reds right-hander Daniel Corcino. And, most important, there were no issues with the shoulder.
Sanchez, whose 2011 season ended June 10 when he dived for a ball and tore his right labrum, could be just about ready to take the next and much bigger step in his return: playing second base again.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said that should be just a few days away, once Sanchez gets some infield work. Sanchez says he's "getting better each day" with throwing, and he has done some work on double plays with shortstop Brandon Crawford.
"Freddy's not far," Bochy said. "As early as Monday, you could see him playing second. He looks good, and he's throwing."
Said Sanchez: "That's good. I mean, I feel like I can go out there and play."
Cain impressive in second Cactus start
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A year after some elbow inflammation disrupted his Spring Training, Giants right-hander Matt Cain is cruising and looking strong as he marches through his first few Cactus League outings.
On Friday, he twirled three shutout innings, striking out four Reds while allowing three hits. He hasn't allowed a run in his first two outings while walking one batter and striking out five in five innings.
"I felt like I had good rhythm and I've got to try to remember that and I've got to take that into my next bullpen and keep carrying it over into the season," Cain said.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy definitely likes what he sees out of Cain so far, though he's hardly surprised by what Cain's bringing to the table early this spring.
"He's in tremendous shape," Bochy said. "Last year, he came into camp the same way and he had that little hiccup. But he's throwing the ball well. That was a solid effort. Every time he's hit the mound, whether it's bullpens or facing hitters, he's so consistent, and that's what you love about him."
Left-hander Madison Bumgarner, who had been in long-term negotiations with the club, has agreed to a one-year contract worth about $575,000, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Aubrey Huff made his first appearance of the spring in left field, going 0-for-3 with two putouts before being replaced by Justin Christian.
The members of the Giants' ownership group are in town for the weekend and were hosting a barbecue with the players and their families Friday night.
John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.