Happy For An Opportunity

Borchard getting a chance with the Giants





SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ.—Joe Borchard sat in front of his locker at the Giants' minor league complex this spring, surveying a room of pups 10 years younger than him.

"These guys are fine," said Borchard, who will turn 32 in November. "If I weren't here, I'd be chasing toddlers around at home. They'll keep my hair from turning gray, hopefully."

A former No. 1 pick and top prospect with the White Sox, Borchard still has the same chiseled physique and square jaw. He still has the same dream, too—to make an impact in the major leagues.

The Giants signed Borchard last May after he received his release from the Braves' Triple-A club. He received a regular opportunity at Triple-A Fresno, hitting .250/.294/.474 in 304 at-bats.

Borchard could have been miffed that he didn't receive a major league invite this spring. He does claim parts of six seasons in the majors, after all, even if he was just a .205 hitter.

But Borchard didn't mind sharing a room with kids, most of whom were learning their multiplication tables when he was the starting quarterback at Stanford.

"We're all here because we have an opportunity," Borchard said. "The way I see it, an organization is bringing me here because they think I can help. I'd like to do that. Hopefully that translates into a bigger opportunity. It's a matter of taking advantage of whatever comes my way."

During his six years in the White Sox organization, Borchard spent more time at Triple-A Charlotte than anywhere else. So he bought a home and still lives there in the offseason.

He would love to relocate to the Bay Area, though. So would his wife, the former Erin Sones, who was NCAA champion in the 10-meter platform dive at Stanford and competed in the 2004 Olympic trials.

"The Peninsula always felt like home to us," Borchard said.

GIANTICS

• The Giants certainly have a soft spot for former Stanford quarterbacks. Another one, former big league catcher Brian Johnson, joined the front office as a special assignment scout.

• The Giants released catcher Todd Jennings. The 2003 second-round pick from Long Beach State had missed significant time due to multiple major ligament surgeries, but had been healthy this spring.