In talking about the goals for his final Cactus League start, Ryan Vogelsong also summed up the Giants' main concern for the lengthy spring. "Don't get hurt," Vogelsong said flatly. "Don't get hurt." During 44 days in the desert, the reigning World Series champions learned that "hurt" can be a relative term. The training staff dealt with everything from blisters to ulnar neuritis, but the Giants are optimistic that the last lingering injury, Pablo Sandoval's elbow pain, will heal in time to give them a full complement of players when they kick off the season on Monday against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Sandoval played catch Wednesday, hit from both sides of the plate and took ground balls. "He felt great," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He was pretty excited about how he felt." As the Giants leave their spring wounds in Scottsdale, their closest competitors in the National League West face glaring absences. The Dodgers have cut plenty of big checks but can do nothing but wait when it comes to All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who had surgery on a thumb ligament and is expected to be out until mid-May. Right-hander Chad Billingsley and prized offseason acquisition Zack Greinke both have had their first starts pushed back. The Arizona Diamondbacks rebuilt in the offseason, only to see their new-look team fall apart in spring training's final days. Leadoff hitter Adam Eaton, an electric rookie, could miss up to two months with a sprained left elbow. Former Giant Cody Ross (calf) likely will begin the season on the disabled list and utility infielder Willie Bloomquist will miss several weeks after straining his oblique. The San Diego Padres entered camp as a sleeper to make the division a four-team race, but they'll begin the season without reigning National League RBI leader Chase Headley (thumb fracture). Headley's fill-in, Logan Forsythe, will likely join him on the D.L. because of plantar fasciitis.
Giants leave desert with a sigh of relief
San Jose Mercury News | Mar 28