Giants & A’s

Matt Kawahara, Bay Area baseball beat writer

Pill will undergo knee surgery

03/14/2013 12:00 AM

10/08/2014 10:41 AM

GOODYEAR, Ariz. – Brett Pill's chances of making the Giants' Opening Day roster took a hit Wednesday when it was determined he'll require surgery on his right knee to repair a meniscus tear.

The 28-year-old infielder, who was hitting .259 this spring with two homers and seven RBIs, will undergo the arthroscopic procedure today in San Francisco and will be sidelined for at least three weeks.

Pill, who has been experiencing knee pain for the past few weeks, was a contender for a utility role with the Giants as a first baseman, left fielder and pinch hitter.

"He did it earlier in the spring," manager Bruce Bochy said of the injury. "He had a little tear, and he was going to try to play through it. (Tuesday) night, I talked to him, because I wanted to put him in left field and he said he wanted to go. But it swelled up during the night, so we made the decision to get this done and clean it out."

Pill, who split time between Triple-A Fresno and the majors last season, hit .210 in 48 games with the Giants. He was not on the postseason roster.

Johnny Monell, who is trying to win a roster spot with San Francisco, had three more hits Wednesday, including two doubles, and drove in three runs as the designated hitter in a 9-5 victory over Cincinnati.

Monell, a 26-year-old catcher from the Bronx, N.Y., has spent the past two seasons at Double-A Richmond, but he is 9 for 15 this spring.

With No. 2 catcher Hector Sanchez slowed by shoulder and calf injuries and no obvious No. 3 candidate in camp, Monell may be pushing to enter the discussion.

"He's doing what you want these young guys to do," Bochy said. "He's drawing attention to himself. I'd like to get him behind the plate a little bit more. When you swing the bat the way he's swinging, you force the issue a little bit. It's a rare commodity to have a good-hitting left-handed catcher, and he could be coming into his own right now."

Monell hit .257 last year at Richmond with 27 doubles, 11 home runs and 50 RBIs in 108 games. He threw out 23 of 68 base stealers. He was the Giants' 30th-round selection in the 2007 amateur draft.

Barry Zito threw 70 pitches over 3 1/3 innings, allowing five hits, a walk, an earned run and striking out three.

"The first inning and the last inning, my timing felt pretty good, and the two middle innings it was kind of hit-or-miss," Zito said. "So I still have some work to do."

Notes – Hitting coach Hensley Meulens stopped by Scottsdale Stadium to chat with players on his way to San Francisco for the World Baseball Classic semifinals at AT&T Park. Meulens is managing the surprising Netherlands club.

Noting that there are more than 60,000 Dutch in the Bay Area, Meulens was stumping for fan support in Sunday's semifinal against an as-yet-undetermined opponent.

Meulens, a native of the Dutch constituent country Curacao, said, "We're showing the world what kind of talent we have. It's unknown, basically, but we've managed to put away some pretty good teams, and it's not done yet."

The Netherlands beat Cuba twice, as well as South Korea and Australia, to reach the semis. On Wednesday, the Dutch added Jurickson Profar of the Texas Rangers -- regarded as baseball's top prospect – to their roster.

Marco Scutaro returned to Giants camp from his WBC stint with Venezuela but did not play.

About This Blog

Matt Kawahara has covered baseball for The Sacramento Bee for three years. Kawahara, a McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley graduate, joined The Bee in 2010. Before joining Sports, he was a general assignment news reporter. Reach Kawahara at Twitter: @matthewkawahara.

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