Outfielder Gregor Blanco struggled to find the right word, in English or Spanish, to describe how he felt after his disappointing 2013 season. Finally, it came to him: "Exhausted." Not just from the season, which did not go as he or the team had hoped, but from 15 years of playing organized baseball: spring, summer, fall and winter. Blanco did not realize how many years had passed since he had a long break until a late-season conversation with reporters. Once he returned to Venezuela in October, Blanco unplugged himself from the game. "The most special thing I did was get out of baseball a little bit and be part of my family a little more," Blanco said Wednesday. "I had to stop playing. I rebooted and started fresh." He did not pick up a bat or throw a ball until shortly before he left for Arizona in January. The 30-year-old revealed all this explaining why he looks more like the Blanco who tore up the Cactus League to win a job with the Giants in 2012 than last year's version. He sees a clear cause and effect between his physical and mental break and how hard he is hitting the ball. "I feel like a brand-new kid," he said after singling and scoring twice in Wednesday's 3-2 victory against the Angels. "I'm feeling confident again. I couldn't wait to get here. I couldn't wait to see my teammates. I couldn't wait for another spring training and facing pitchers." Blanco was part of a left-field platoon with Andres Torres in 2013. This year he is a fourth outfielder, which could be viewed as a demotion. Giants left fielders ranked last in the league in 2013 with a .651 OPS. They wanted more offense there and signed Michael Morse. Blanco will replace him for defense and start when Morse or center fielder Angel Pagan needs a day off.
Giants' Gregor Blanco refreshed after rough 2013
San Francisco Chronicle | Mar 6