SCOTTSDALE — Denard Span is used to high expectations. He spent three years playing for a Nationals team that was often the spring pick to win the title, and last year the Nats were so loaded after the Max Scherzer addition that Bryce Harper made some preseason waves by saying, "I was like, 'Where's my ring.’”
Span has now spent a full week in his new clubhouse and the fit has been seamless. Teammates rave about the addition and they’ve quickly made Span feel at home. When Span, not known for his power, lined two straight homers to right during the first day of BP, a teammate yelled that he shouldn’t get comfortable because few players can do that during a night game at AT&T Park.
I talked to Span earlier for a one-on-one that airs on CSN Bay Area tonight, and I asked him about the expectations his new team faces.
“I think we’re more of a quiet confidence. We keep it inside, keep it in our clubhouse, keep it amongst ourselves,” Span said. “You can tell this team in the past has just taken care of business on the field and let their play do the talking. That’s the biggest thing I’ve noticed since being over here the last week or so.”
The Giants have been careful about making any declarations or comparisons. They know they’re one of the favorites to reach the World Series, even without the whole even year thing, but they’re not going to say it too often. Madison Bumgarner was asked to go big picture when he checked into camp.
“I definitely feel good about it,” he said. “There are a lot of talented teams out there and a lot of teams upgraded. It’s going to be a fun year, it’s always long and there are lots of different things that happen that nobody foresees. But we’re certainly looking forward to it.”
No bulletin-board material around here. Bumgarner and the rest of the pitchers got a light day since tomorrow is the start of live BP. Span may get his first crack at facing Giants pitchers, and he could even get a shot at Bumgarner. For now, here are the leftover notes from Day 8 …
HEALTH UPDATE: Span appears to be doing everything asked of him, but Bochy said he’s not 100 percent yet. “Right now he’s good to go, he feels great,” Bochy said. “(But) the surgery he had is an eight-month deal to when you (again) feel 100 percent. I think he’s a little ahead of schedule.”
ICYMI: My main story for today, Bochy and Hensley Meulens challenging the hitters to get better in a very specific area. (To answer your next question: No, Bumgarner was not in the hitters meeting.)
FAMILIAR FACE: Tim Lincecum secretly stopped by Scottsdale Stadium over the weekend, but it had nothing to do with baseball or his rehab from September hip surgery. Lincecum simply wanted to see some of his longtime teammates. His showcase hasn’t been scheduled yet, although the expectation is that it’ll happen in the next week or so. Word is that Lincecum is feeling good, and apparently there was nothing funky about his hair or facial hair choice.
QUOTABLE: “To be honest, I was a little confused, too. We had agreed. I don’t really know what happened. I think it was mutual. Decided to split ways, it wasn’t going to work out. So they went their way and I went mine.” — CSN Chicago’s Dan Hayes caught up with Travis Ishikawa and asked how he ended up with the White Sox when it looked like he was headed home.