News Forum Blogs Roster Players Schedule Depth chart Stats Videos Photos

Arizona Diamondbacks News

News » Giants' Schierholtz waiting for his chance


Giants' Schierholtz waiting for his chance


Giants' Schierholtz waiting for his chance
If you see Nate Schierholtz's picture on a milk carton, it's not because he signed an endorsement deal with the folks at Berkeley Farms.

Schierholtz has been a virtual missing person on the Giants roster this season, collecting four at-bats off the bench in 12 games while waiting patiently for his first start. He hasn't played a defensive inning in right field, or anywhere else.

It's been a challenge for the 25-year-old from Danville, who was accustomed to playing every day while matriculating through the minor leagues as one of the Giants' top prospects.

"It's something I don't want to get used to," Schierholtz said. "Even last year when they brought me up, they found openings to start me a lot. It's a change of pace. But I realize I'm here and that's all that matters. I've got to be prepared to contribute any way I can."

The schedule is part of the problem. The Giants had a day off Tuesday, one of five on the calendar this month. Manager Bruce Bochy hasn't needed to rest outfielder Randy Winn. And the one time Bochy gave Aaron Rowand a day off, he inserted Eugenio Velez because the utilityman was 4-for-7 against Padres right-hander Chris Young.

Giants hitting coach Carney Lansford said keeping Schierholtz sharp has been one of his toughest assignments.

"I know I'm concerned," Lansford said. "We've got to get him in there. The only thing you can do is get in the cage, hit early every series. It's not just him. We need to get more at-bats for Velez and (Andres) Torres, too.

"It's got to be frustrating for Nate. We talk about it all the time. It's a difficult role for a younger player."

Even while competing for the U.S. Olympic Baseball team in Beijing last summer, Schierholtz received regular playing time. So his four trips to the batter's box have been a different experience.

"I'm as comfortable as I can be," Schierholtz said. "My swing feels fine. It's more a timing thing. You want to see more pitches, go deeper in the count."

Yet he also has to be prepared to swing at the first pitch. As veterans have advised him, it's often the best one he'll get.

"I've talked to a lot of guys and they all say the same thing: If you get a fastball in your zone, hit it," Schierholtz said. "You just have to be more patient than normal. That's not easy because you don't know when your next at-bat is going to be. You've got one shot and that's it."

? The Giants rank 29th out of 30 major league teams in runs scored and Lansford has noticed opposing pitchers are making no secret about pounding the Giants on the inner part of the plate.

"I don't see the same swings I saw coming out of spring training," Lansford said. "We've got to fight through it."

? Jonathan Sanchez, Tim Lincecum and Randy Johnson combined for 212/3 scoreless innings as the Giants took two of three against the Arizona Diamondbacks over the weekend. They'll send the same three pitchers to the mound at Arizona's Chase Field this weekend.

Giants vs. Padres ?Today: in San Francisco, 7:15 p.m. ?TV/Radio: CSN/KNBR (680)


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 22, 2009

mlb-arizona-diamondbacks-vs--colorado-rockies-pitcher-jose-valverde
Arizona Diamondbacks Photos
All the latest Arizona Diamondbacks Photos Store photographs. Major League Baseball MLB.
The most recent photo
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Windows Live

Copyright © Dbackszone.com, Inc. All rights reserved 2008.