Vogelsong eager to get back into routine
Giants right-hander slated for spring debut on Saturday
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- A day after facing hitters in batting practice, Ryan Vogelsong felt good about his outing and looked forward to his Cactus League debut this weekend as he works to make the Opening Day roster as a member of the Giants' rotation.
"As long as we don't have any setbacks, everything should be good," Vogelsong said Wednesday. "I don't see anything setting me back. We've tested this thing pretty hard over the last three weeks."
Vogelsong is recovering from a strained back suffered during a regular part of his offseason workout on Feb. 7. He's trying to keep his debut inning as simple as possible. Manager Bruce Bochy penciled him in for Saturday's split-squad game at home against the Rockies.
"Just get back in the game speed," Vogelsong said of his goal for the outing. "Get my mind working again for game situations. Throwing strikes. Hopefully nobody gets on base, but if somebody gets on, go into that: holding runners, thinking about the things you need to do, get over, covering first base. Stuff that you deal with in the game."
Vogelsong is battling the clock as he works to join a projected rotation with Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner and Barry Zito. If he pitches Saturday and comes back on four or five days' rest for his subsequent appearances, Vogelsong has time to make three appearances before the Giants open the season April 6 vs. the D-backs in Phoenix.
Bochy hopes to get Vogelsong up to five innings by the time the season starts, but with the potential to use only four starters with an off-day scheduled for the fifth day of the season, Bochy may be trying to find extra work for Vogelsong between the close of the Cactus League and his first appearance in the regular season.
"It's one of those things that we'll just have to see when we do it," Vogelsong said. "See where my pitches are at. See where my stamina's at. In-game stamina is something that that you can't replicate in bullpens and live BP. I think that's the big thing."
Burriss exits as precaution with tight hamstring
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Giants right fielder Emmanuel Burriss came out of Wednesday's 5-3 win over the Indians in the middle of the fourth inning with a tight hamstring.
"His hamstring has been a little tight, and it seemed like it tightened up on him," manager Bruce Bochy said. "I didn't want to take any chances, so I just took him out. It wasn't worth the risk. We'll see how he's doing tomorrow."
Burriss grounded out in his first at-bat and walked and advanced on a wild pitch in his second at-bat in the fourth inning.
"It was a precautionary thing," Burriss said. "Whenever you feel anything that might be off at this point in spring, shut it down. It's nothing serious. I have a good thing going, so might as well speak up and feel right."
Burriss said no particular play caused him any pain.
"It's a lot of innings," Burriss said. "I don't even know where it is exactly. You just don't want to push it more than you have to. It's in the back of my leg, one of those areas. I don't think it's a strain. I know it's not a pull."
Justin Christian replaced Burriss in right field in the bottom of the fourth.
Burriss is competing for a roster spot, either on the bench or at second base, depending on Freddy Sanchez's availability.
Giants set to play Huff in back-to-back games
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Aubrey Huff was back in the Giants' lineup Tuesday after missing two days with a balky back. He was 1-for-3, hitting the ball to center in each of his at-bats.
"I feel fine," Huff said Wednesday. "It was just a one-day thing."
Manager Bruce Bochy gave him a day of rest when the team traveled to Goodyear on Wednesday and plans to use him in a pair of night games Thursday and Friday.
"With that back, I want to give him [Wednesday] off, then he'll go back-to-back," Bochy said.
Huff is in a three-way battle with Brandon Belt and Brett Pill for the starting job at first base. Huff is hitting .290 (9-for-31) with two homers and three RBIs entering play Wednesday. Belt was hitting .359 (14-for-39) with three homers and six RBIs and Pill was at .268 (11-for-41) with a homer and six RBIs.
"They're all doing a good job this spring," Bochy said. "I can't say there's any kind of separation. Belt's probably had the best spring up to this point swinging the bat, but Aubrey I think has been swinging it well, as has Pill."
Outfielder Nate Schierholtz remained out of the lineup Wednesday as he recovers from a sore forearm. Schierholtz was scratched Tuesday, and though he was expected back Wednesday, manager Bruce Bochy wanted to give the slight strain ample time to recover, putting two days out of the lineup together with Monday's off-day.
"After treatment [Tuesday], we just wanted to give Schierholtz one more day," Bochy said.
Neither Bochy nor Schierholtz indicated any setbacks or any worries about the outfielder's arm, which was only bothering him on swings.
"I feel good," Schierholtz said. "They just want to give me one extra day and make sure. I took BP yesterday and today. They just wanted to give it a day and make sure."
Reliever Sergio Romo will return to Cactus League action Friday night at home against the Rangers. Romo has been nursing a sore elbow and has not pitched in a game in more than a week. He has a 4.50 spring ERA, having allowed five runs (three earned) over six innings with one walk against six strikeouts.
Several Giants are playing in Minor League games to get extra at-bats or to stay on schedule pitching. Reliever Guillermo Mota, outfielder Angel Pagan and infielders Freddy Sanchez and Ryan Theriot all played in a Minor League game in Scottsdale on Wednesday, with closer Brian Wilson set to pitch an inning in a Minor League game Thursday.
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.