Adrianza Deals With Tough Break

Shortstop to miss time early

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ.—The Giants just can't seem to keep their shortstop prospects healthy.

Last year, Brandon Crawford missed two months because of a broken bone in his hand. Now another of the Giants' well-regarded young glove men, Ehire Adrianza, will have to wait until at least mid-May to begin his season because of surgery repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb.

Adrianza jammed his thumb sliding headfirst while stealing second base in the ninth inning of March 12 Cactus League game. He ended up scoring the winning run against the Dodgers when outfielder Gary Brown, last year's first-round pick, lined a single to right field.

Adrianza had surgery a few days later. He was likely to begin the year at Double-A Richmond, but now he'll remain in extended spring training through April.

"Any year of development is valuable, but this is a very important year for him," Giants vice president Bobby Evans said. "He did a lot of work over the winter to get stronger. He got a little more weight on him, was looking good. This is a setback, but at least he had a few weeks of spring training time to heal. It's better to miss time now than during the season."

Adrianza was expected to be sidelined for at least six weeks. The 21-year-old native of Venezuela was considered the best defensive shortstop in the high Class A California League. He has received plenty of advice from another legendary Venezuelan shortstop, current White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, who is his godfather. Guillen and Adrianza's father are boyhood friends, and Guillen sent over a box of bats as a gift when the White Sox played at Scottsdale Stadium earlier in the spring.

Adrianza remains a work in progress as a switch-hitter, though. He had a .256/.333/.348 line for San Jose last season and became much more aggressive on the basepaths, stealing 33 bags after making just eight attempts a year earlier at low Class A Augusta.


• Infielder Nick Noonan was also stuck in the trainer's room with an injured oblique. He also could begin the season in extended spring training, but isn't expected to miss too much time.

• During an organizational awards ceremony, the Giants gave a standing ovation to Dave Machemer, who is entering his 22nd season as a minor league manager. Machemer (1,425-1,400) has a chance to win his 1,500th game this season while leading Double-A Richmond.