Inbox: Should Giants have upgraded rotation in offseason?

Beat reporter Chris Haft answers San Francisco fans' questions

Inbox: Should Giants have upgraded rotation in offseason?

With the Giants having the best top brass in baseball, how concerned were they about our starting pitching at the beginning of the year, given starters' ages and injury histories? Knowing what we know now, would our offseason pursuit of starting pitchers have been a little more serious? Also, how much do we miss the Panda [Pablo Sandoval]?
-- Bob B., Riverside, Iowa

I think the front office genuinely wanted to upgrade the starting pitching. You'll recall that early in the offseason, they seriously pursued Jon Lester. Later, they supposedly offered James Shields roughly the same amount of money that he eventually took from the Padres. I don't understand why so many free-agent pitchers spurn the Giants and the opportunity to perform at AT&T Park, where they can lower their ERAs by up to a full run. Of course, by joining the Padres, Shields went to another pitchers' park. And, at the risk of contradicting myself, I wonder whether the Giants could have explored the market more intently for second- and even third-tier starters -- the Aaron Harangs of the world, for instance.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lincecum gets start as Giants open vs. Dodgers at home

Lincecum gets start as Giants open vs. Dodgers at home

The Dodgers will be going for their eighth straight win as they begin a three-game series vs. the Giants at At&T Park on Tuesday.

The Dodgers will be facing what has become a daily question over the past week: Will right fielder Yasiel Puig start? He's been in and out of the lineup for a week with a tight left hamstring. And he's 8-for-14 lifetime against Giants starter Tim Lincecum. Lefty Brett Anderson starts for the Dodgers.

More

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Don't count out these Giants

San Francisco has championship pedigree going despite difficult start to 2015 season

Don't count out these Giants

If you're inclined to write off the San Francisco Giants two weeks into the regular season, here's some free advice from your friendly columnist:

You should know better.

More

Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Scuffling Giants can't pick up Hudson vs. D-backs

Scuffling Giants can't pick up Hudson vs. D-backs

SAN FRANCISCO -- Jeremy Hellickson ended a streak of 11 winless starts Sunday and received offensive support from Paul Goldschmidt and Chris Owings as the Arizona Diamondbacks tamed the San Francisco Giants, 5-1.

Hellickson lasted 6 2/3 innings, allowing one run and eight hits. Since recording his previous victory while pitching for Tampa Bay at Oakland last Aug. 6, Hellickson went 0-6 with a 5.67 ERA in 11 starts entering this game.

More

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giants hoping to turn things around soon

Reigning World Series champs fall to 4-10 after losing series to D-backs

Giants hoping to turn things around soon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Given the Giants' performance thus far, observing Monday's first scheduled off-day of the season will be considerably preferable to playing another game.

"If there's any time we needed a day off, it's now," right-hander Tim Hudson said.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giants leaning toward Vogelsong or Petit to start

Giants leaning toward Vogelsong or Petit to start

SAN FRANCISCO -- After further contemplation, Giants manager Bruce Bochy opted for the conventional solution and likely will name either Ryan Vogelsong or Yusmeiro Petit to fill in for Jake Peavy in the starting rotation.

"That's the way we're leaning," Bochy said Sunday.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A Giants balldude took a foul ball for the team.

|
A Giants balldude took a foul ball for the team.

Last week, Giants balldude Mark Madden became the stuff of balldude legend, casually snagging line drivves, doling out souvenirs and generally elevating the act of balldude-ing to an art form. 

But the Balldude Gods did not look kindly upon such hubris, and they exacted their revenge on the entire San Francisco balldude community during Sunday's Giants-D'backs game.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Giants end losing skid behind dominant Heston

Giants end losing skid behind dominant Heston

SAN FRANCISCO -- Receiving impressive pitching from Chris Heston and brief but effective flurries of offense, the San Francisco Giants snapped their eight-game losing streak Saturday by subduing the Arizona Diamondbacks, 4-1.

"He's a good pitcher," D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said of Heston. "He pitched well tonight. He didn't make too many mistakes. He worked ahead in the count a lot; that was maybe the biggest thing. He had the one walk, but there wasn't too many hitters' counts. He mixed up his slider and his fastball so you couldn't really lock in on one pitch. He did a great job tonight."

More

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Heston shows poise in win on ring day

Rookie pitcher turns in third straight strong start, beats D-backs again

Heston shows poise in win on ring day

SAN FRANCISCO -- On a day that was largely devoted to commemorating accomplishments, Chris Heston forged a historic trail of his own.

Heston lasted 7 2/3 innings to help the Giants defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 4-1, and end an eight-game losing streak. Moreover, he set a standard that has eluded literally hundreds of his predecessors.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Flash, class highlight Giants' third ring ceremony

World Series champs receive jewelry featuring Golden Gate Bridge, trophies

Flash, class highlight Giants' third ring ceremony

SAN FRANCISCO -- For those who believe that the Giants' recent success has been a gift from heaven, Saturday's ceremony featuring distribution of the 2014 World Series championship rings included a fitting touch.

The first batch of rings -- which included those given to executive vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy -- arrived courtesy of four skydivers who parachuted into AT&T Park's outfield.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Crawford's homer helps Giants reverse course

Scuffling shortstop launches two-run shot as SF ends losing streak

Crawford's homer helps Giants reverse course

SAN FRANCISCO -- When Brandon Crawford's turn came to receive his 2014 World Series ring during Saturday's pregame ceremony, he was introduced as the Giants' RBI leader in last October's postseason.

Then he delivered a reminder of how he achieved that feat.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Back strain lands Peavy on disabled list

Giants unsure how rotation spot will be filled; catcher Susac recalled

Back strain lands Peavy on disabled list

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants made definitive moves Saturday by placing right-hander Jake Peavy on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain and recalling catcher Andrew Susac.

But manager Bruce Bochy wasn't sure what the team would do next -- that is, how they will fill Peavy's spot in the starting rotation.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giants' skid continues as Collmenter tosses shutout

Giants' skid continues as Collmenter tosses shutout

SAN FRANCISCO -- Josh Collmenter established control immediately and strengthened his command as the evening progressed Friday, surrendering four hits in his second career shutout to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks past the San Francisco Giants, 9-0.

"It's fun when you have stuff working like that," Collmenter said. "For me, it was the fastball command. It was huge for me. I was able to move the ball in and out. Everything for me plays off of that."

More

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Change the locks: Lincecum gets dramatic haircut

Change the locks: Lincecum gets dramatic haircut

SAN FRANCISCO -- Since getting a haircut is an unusual experience for Tim Lincecum, he opted to make it a truly memorable event by drastically changing his look.

Lincecum returned to the short-haired style he sported during his first two years in the Major Leagues and at the start of the 2013 season, with something of a twist. The sides of his head are shaved considerably. And while the mane in the middle of his head remains long, Lincecum combs it straight back, creating the appearance of neatness.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Recovering fan Stow throws San Jose Giants first pitch

Recovering fan Stow throws San Jose Giants first pitch

SAN FRANCISCO -- Bryan Stow, the noted Giants fan who's continuing his recovery from a brutal beating at Dodger Stadium four years ago, threw a ceremonial first pitch before Class A Advanced San Jose's home opener Thursday against Bakersfield.

Stow, who took the field using a walker, sustained brain injuries and was disabled as a result of the beating that occurred after the Giants-Dodgers season opener in Los Angeles in 2011. He has undergone constant therapy and has made a handful of visits to see Giants games at AT&T Park.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ishikawa reports no setbacks with back injury

Giants reserve skips rehab trip to Salt Lake City, will attend ring ceremony

Ishikawa reports no setbacks with back injury

SAN FRANCISCO -- First baseman/outfielder Travis Ishikawa took a break from his injury rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Sacramento to be examined by Giants doctors and collect his 2014 World Series ring in Saturday's ceremony.

Ishikawa said his strained lower back, which forced him onto the disabled list, has improved considerably.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giants don't plan changes to pitching staff

Team will keep 13 hurlers, won't adjust rotation for off-day

Giants don't plan changes to pitching staff

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Friday he will stick with a 13-man pitching staff through the foreseeable future, including Monday's scheduled off-day.

"I think it's shown that we need them all," Bochy said. "I don't see us changing until I think we're comfortable enough to carry 12."

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'They kept fighting': Giants' offense shows life in tough loss

Defending champs fall to 3-8 after dropping 7th in a row

'They kept fighting': Giants' offense shows life in tough loss

SAN FRANCISCO -- Manager Bruce Bochy didn't encourage talk of moral victories Thursday night after the Giants' 7-6, 12-inning loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"It's not fun to lose seven in a row," Bochy said.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Late rally falls short, Giants lose seventh straight

Late rally falls short, Giants lose seventh straight

SAN FRANCISCO -- Aaron Hill's two-run, two-out double broke a 12th-inning tie and led the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 7-6 victory Thursday night over the reeling San Francisco Giants.

With the score knotted, 5-5, Ender Inciarte singled off Sergio Romo to open the 12th. One out later, Inciarte stole second base, prompting an intentional walk to Paul Goldschmidt. Cliff Pennington popped up before Hill, who was 0-for-4, drilled his go-ahead hit off the base of the left-field wall. That hastened the seventh loss in a row for the defending World Series champion Giants, matching their longest losing streak since 2010. San Francisco (3-8) also equaled its worst 11-game start since the franchise moved west in 1958. More >

More

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McGehee sidelined for fifth straight game with strained knee

McGehee sidelined for fifth straight game with strained knee

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants' expectations of returning Casey McGehee to the starting lineup evaporated during a pregame workout Thursday, when the third baseman didn't respond physically as well as the club had hoped.

McGehee, 32, has missed five consecutive starts with a strained left knee.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chicken finger causes delay in D-backs-Giants game

|
Chicken finger causes delay in D-backs-Giants game

Delays are normally not fun. But do you know when they are fun? When they're caused by a chicken finger.

Yep, as you can see in the above video, a chicken finger fell from the sky and disrupted play for about 20 seconds during Thursday's D-backs-Giants game. 

Continue Reading on Cut4

Through Amalfitano's eyes, history has unfolded

From The Catch to Gibson's blast, baseball lifer has seen special moments firsthand

Through Amalfitano's eyes, history has unfolded

Joe Amalfitano is a star witness to baseball history. He didn't just see some of the game's most enduring moments in person. Amalfitano experienced them from what amounted to a front-row seat -- or even better, in most cases.

Amalfitano was a rookie with the New York Giants in 1954 when Willie Mays made his famous over-the-shoulder catch in Game 1 of the World Series. Seven years later, Mays borrowed a bat from Amalfitano to hit a record-tying four home runs on a Sunday afternoon at Milwaukee. Having migrated to the Cubs, Amalfitano was the next-to-last batter Sandy Koufax retired when the legendary left-hander threw his perfect game in 1965. Amalfitano stayed in the game as a coach after his playing career ended in 1967, and while coaching third base for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988, he was the first man to greet Kirk Gibson after his epic World Series home run.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Giants know how to rebound from tough stretches

San Francisco overcame two six-game losing streaks last season en route to championship

Giants know how to rebound from tough stretches

SAN FRANCISCO -- It only seems like the worst of times for the defending World Series champion Giants.

Oh, they are struggling to open the season, no doubt about it. The Rockies just departed AT&T Park after leaving the Giants with a six-game losing streak and a 3-7 record which equals the fourth-worst start for the franchise since the Majors Leagues were created in 1903.

More

Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blanco: 'World seems different' thanks to Jackie Robinson

All 30 clubs wear No. 42 to honor MLB trailblazer

Blanco: 'World seems different' thanks to Jackie Robinson

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants outfielder Gregor Blanco said he's had the same reaction every time he's watched the movie "42," which chronicles the late Jackie Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier.

"I watched the movie a couple years ago and I cried," said Blanco, who was born in Venezuela. "Every time I watch it, I cry. I cry because of all the things he passed through to become who he is and what he wanted to accomplish and his dream. Because of that, everybody else has a chance, everybody else has a different view of other players. Latin American players and everybody else.

More

Eric Gilmore is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Duffy's first career homer a bright spot in loss

Bochy says infielder 'competes so well' at plate

Duffy's first career homer a bright spot in loss

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants infielder Matt Duffy said he wasn't truly relaxed at the plate until his fourth and final at-bat Wednesday night against Colorado at AT&T Park.

Duffy took an easy swing and sent Boone Logan's fastball over the left-field fence for his first career home run, cutting the Rockies' lead to 4-2.

More

Eric Gilmore is a contributor to MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McGehee impatient, but making progress with injury

Posey gets rest; Pence slated for X-ray to update forearm fracture

McGehee impatient, but making progress with injury

SAN FRANCISCO -- Slow and easy has been the plan for Giants third baseman Casey McGehee as he recovers from a bone bruise on his left knee.

McGehee said he's making progress and has had no setbacks, but his patience is being tested.

More

Eric Gilmore is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'Pressing' Giants again give Hudson no support

Starter allows three runs in seven innings, takes loss vs. Rockies

'Pressing' Giants again give Hudson no support

SAN FRANCISCO -- No one has to tell right-hander Tim Hudson that the Giants are in a horrific batting slump.

Hudson (0-1) is still waiting to get his first run of support this season and his first win after allowing just three runs over 13 1/3 innings in two starts. He gave up three over seven innings Tuesday night in a 4-1 loss to the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park, San Francisco's fifth straight defeat.

More

Eric Gilmore is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giants balldude has epic night in the field

|
Giants balldude has epic night in the field

In his everyday life, Mark Madden is a 58-year-old drywall contractor. He lives in Sonoma. He plays a bit of hardball in a Men's Senior Baseball League. But during Tuesday's Rockies-Giants game, Madden became the AT&T Park balldude and he had the kind of game that balldudes dream about for all of their balldude lives.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Giants' offense continues scuffling vs. Rockies

Giants' offense continues scuffling vs. Rockies

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Rockies got to Giants starter Tim Hudson early, with eight hits in the first four innings, and used an all-hands pitching effort to win, 4-1, at AT&T Park on Tuesday night.

The Rockies scored twice in the second, one run on a Corey Dickerson RBI single, the other on Hudson's wild pitch, and got a safety squeeze from DJ LeMahieu in the fourth. After that, Hudson retired 11 straight and 12 of the next 13 before leaving the game after seven innings.

More

Eric Gilmore is a contributor to MLB.com. Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.