Matt Cain hit by line drive during Giants' 4-3 loss to Cubs
Published: Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 9:27 p.m.
MESA, Ariz. — Matt Cain's run of bad luck continued Sunday. Just a few days after a Pablo Sandoval liner hit him during a team workout, Cain was struck on the side of the right knee by a hard shot off the bat of Alfonso Soriano.
Cain stayed in the game and said he didn't anticipate missing any time. He also joked that he has learned a valuable lesson from the two comebackers and a Hector Sanchez liner that bruised his other leg last spring.
“Maybe I should start using my glove,” Cain cracked.
Trainer Dave Groeschner and manager Bruce Bochy ran out to check on Cain after he was hit, but the Giants' scheduled opening day starter stayed in the game, a 4-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs. Naturally, the next batter, Nate Schierholtz, hit a slow roller to the right side, forcing Cain to sprint over and cover first base.
“Why wouldn't he?” Cain said, chuckling. “That's the way it always goes.”
Bochy said Cain had been scheduled for a second inning of work but all involved wanted to be cautious. Cain expects to make his next Cactus League start.
“It's nothing to worry about, I don't think,” he said. “You've got all the same risks out there. But you've got to go through it full-bore like it's the regular season.”
SCHIERHOLTZ TO GET RING
Now playing for the most title-starved franchise in sports, Schierholtz, about to receive his second ring, understands that he's quite the rarity in his clubhouse.
“I've been told that a few times so far,” Schierholtz said Sunday, smiling wide beneath his blue Cubs cap.
Schierholtz won a ring with the 2010 Giants and was sized up for his 2012 ring a month ago. He said he still considers San Francisco his home, but he already feels comfortable with the Cubs after signing in December.
“I've always enjoyed Chicago,” he said. “It's a great chance to get a lot of time in right field. That's what I'm looking forward to.”
An inconsistent role with the Giants led to Schierholtz looking for a way out last season. He was dealt to Philadelphia as part of the Hunter Pence deal but struggled, hitting just one homer in 37 games while battling injuries. Schierholtz wasn't surprised when the Phillies non-tendered him shortly after the season ended, and chose the Cubs after overtures from several contending teams.
“I like it a lot here,” he said. “It's a great team with good guys. I feel like I'm settling in well. I think this team is young and we have a chance to win quickly.”
Thanks to the 2010 run, Schierholtz is one of the few in the Cubs' clubhouse who knows what winning feels like. He got another close look in October, when he watched all the Giants games from his home in Orinda. Schierholtz said it was a little weird to watch his former team make another run without him, but he was happy with the way things turned out.
“I was sitting at home rooting for the guys,” he said. “It was exciting as a fan. It was a different point of view. I'll always have friends there, no matter where I am.”
SANDOVAL PREPPING FOR WBC
Sandoval is the lone regular to start the first two spring games in the field, and Bochy said that came at Sandoval's request. But before he was inserted in the lineup, the third baseman had to satisfy a request from Bochy.
“We had a deal — he had to get to a certain area (with his weight) before I would play him,” Bochy said. “To his credit, he did. He's doing what I've asked and that's to drop a few pounds.”
Sandoval would like to play every day in order to get his form back in time for the World Baseball Classic.
NO WORD ON LONG-TERM DEAL
Team president and CEO Larry Baer said the Giants have had casual conversations with Buster Posey's representatives recently, but there is no timetable for agreeing on a long-term deal.
“We're still in the early stages of talks,” Baer said.
Posey signed a one-year, $8 million deal this offseason, his first as an arbitration-eligible player. He is not eligible for free agency until after the 2016 season, but both sides have indicated a willingness to come to a long-term agreement.
“It's our absolute intention to have Buster signed long-term.”
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.