SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Recently retired Giants left-hander Javier Lopez will work as a special instructor for San Francisco at spring training and there are discussions with home run king Barry Bonds about spending some time with the club in Arizona, too.
General manager Bobby Evans said Friday that Lopez — an important reliever on the Giants’ World Series winners in 2010, ‘12 and ‘14 — would join the team at its Scottsdale spring home. Pitchers and catchers report Monday with their first workout Tuesday.
“Good for him. We really appreciate what he did here,” manager Bruce Bochy said of Lopez. “When we acquired him in 2010, he helped solidify that bullpen and helped us win that World Series in 2010 getting those big left-handers out for us. As good a player as he is, he’s a better person. Javi’s one of those guys that everybody likes, very much respected and appreciated as a teammate and of course, for me, what he did in the bullpen.”
Evans said there are discussions with Bonds, dismissed as the Marlins’ hitting coach after one season last year, to determine when it might work for him to be in Arizona for a stint.
“We’re very open to that,” Evans said of using Bonds in spring camp. “We’re working on the particulars if that’s going to work.”
When San Francisco players arrive in Arizona, they will hold fond memories of U.S. Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens, who died during a military raid in Yemen last month. Owens visited the team at spring training several times in recent years with other SEALs. Lopez knew him well and several players said Friday they might consider finding a way to pay tribute to him in a respectful way that works for his wife and children.
“For me, that was by far the coolest thing we did in spring training was when they came by,” first baseman Brandon Belt said of the SEALs’ visit. “You get an idea of how the guy’s personality is, what type of person he is. You know that he means a lot to so many people. I just remember him being kind of a funny guy, a passionate guy and just a really cool guy to be around.”
Catcher Buster Posey posted condolences on social media last month.
“I’d want to be respectful of his family first and foremost, so I think that’s the first bridge to cross,” Posey said Friday ahead of Saturday’s FanFest at AT&T Park. “Javi always raved about how good a guy he was and how much he cared about what he was doing.”
“It definitely puts things in perspective,” Gold Glove shortstop Brandon Crawford said.