Bochy on Morse's bat, Panda's status and team's depth

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Michael Morse, the Giants' projected Opening Day left fielder, joined infield drills as a first baseman Wednesday. This wasn't necessarily a huge surprise.

Manager Bruce Bochy mentioned during the interview sessions surrounding FanFest earlier this month that Morse, who has played 130 games at first during his nine-year Major League career, might receive some playing time at first base. Bochy reiterated this after Wednesday's initial full-squad workout, pointing out that he might need a replacement at first base when Brandon Belt rests and catcher Buster Posey, a familiar first-base fill-in, absolutely must catch or gets a break.

Morse also played first due to the absence of Brandon Belt, who avoided a salary arbitration hearing by agreeing to a one-year, $2.9 million deal Tuesday night. Belt is expected back in camp on Thursday.

Scutaro sits out Giants' first fielding drill

Bochy discusses plan for Scutaro, Pagan on his health

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants followed their strategy of restricting Marco Scutaro's activity Wednesday, as the second baseman did not participate in the opening full-squad workout.

Scutaro, 38, remains bothered by back discomfort that has lingered since last season. Manager Bruce Bochy has said that he'll be cautious in using Scutaro during the opening weeks of Spring Training.

In Scutaro's absence, Nick Noonan and Tony Abreu shared second base to begin the first fielding drill, though Bochy has named Joaquin Arias as the position's likely fill-in.

With Scutaro shelved, the best second baseman on the premises probably was guest instructor Jeff Kent, the 2000 National League Most Valuable Player with the Giants. Other Giants alumni expected to serve as guest instructors include Will Clark, Rich Aurilia and Randy Winn.

Giants prepare to get into swing of spring BP

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Giants hitters took their hacks freely during batting practice Wednesday, but that will change as "live" BP begins Thursday.

That's when hitters confront Giants pitchers. At this stage, with hitters striving to regain their timing, a fly ball to the outfield might represent their best contact.

All pitchers rested their arms Wednesday to prepare for consecutive days of live BP leading up to the Feb. 26 Cactus League opener against the Oakland A's at Scottsdale Stadium. The Giants typically conduct an intrasquad game on the day before their first contest, though regulars and established pitchers are excused from participating.

An oddity in this year's spring slate is the scheduled off-day on Feb. 27, one day after the Giants begin Cactus League action.