SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Giants right-hander Ramon Ramirez, who's experiencing visa problems as he tries to depart from the Dominican Republic, missed his second consecutive workout Thursday.
Ramirez, who pitched for the Giants from 2010-11 before being traded to the Mets for the 2012 season and then returning to San Francisco as a free agent in December, might face daunting competition if he arrives too late. Including him, the Giants have 37 pitchers in camp. Only one certain vacancy exists at the back end of the bullpen, though another opening obviously would be created if one of the six incumbent relievers falters.
Currently, right-handers Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla and George Kontos, along with left-handers Jeremy Affeldt, Javier Lopez and Jose Mijares, appear to have jobs.
Affeldt sees no problem in prepping for Classic
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Jeremy Affeldt believes that he won't have to rush to get game-ready for the World Baseball Classic.
"The main thing for me is to get past the early Spring Training soreness," said Affeldt, who's on Team USA's roster. "It's not like I have a trick pitch. I throw a fastball, a curveball and a split-finger. I'm trying to make sure I can get them 60 feet, six inches in the air. In the three weeks I have to get it going, I don't see why I can't be ready."
Affeldt threw three bullpen sessions before Giants pitchers and catchers opened workouts Wednesday. He added a fourth that morning. The left-hander probably will receive ample activity early in the Giants' exhibition schedule, which begins Feb. 23 against the Los Angeles Angels.
Affeldt believes that game situations, even the low-intensity ones that typify the Cactus League, will help his preparation.
"I'm very competitive once I get out there in games," Affeldt said Thursday. "Instead of working in my curveball, I'll probably want to have my curveball, so I'll snap it a little harder earlier and get the arm speed going."
Giants ready to welcome position players to camp
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The atmosphere in the Giants' clubhouse will intensify Friday as position players report to camp.
Most players already have arrived and are working out informally. Center fielder Angel Pagan and second baseman Marco Scutaro are the only significant players who have not appeared at the Scottsdale Stadium training complex while workouts are proceeding.
Another expected arrival is Minor League first baseman Angel Villalona, once a highly regarded prospect who was charged with murder in the Dominican Republic in September 2009. Charges were dropped against Villalona for lack of evidence. Villalona later paid a settlement to the victim's family.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.