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Hwang credits Wotus for improving defense

MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- Obtained primarily for his offensive prowess, Giants third baseman Jae-Gyun Hwang lately has distinguished himself on defense, particularly during this weekend's series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

For example, Los Angeles had Austin Barnes on first base with one out in the fifth inning of Friday's series opener. Hwang dove to backhand Enrique Hernandez's tricky ground ball, which easily would have gone for an RBI double had it scooted by. Hwang not only held the runner, but also made a strong throw to first base for an out.

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LOS ANGELES -- Obtained primarily for his offensive prowess, Giants third baseman Jae-Gyun Hwang lately has distinguished himself on defense, particularly during this weekend's series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

For example, Los Angeles had Austin Barnes on first base with one out in the fifth inning of Friday's series opener. Hwang dove to backhand Enrique Hernandez's tricky ground ball, which easily would have gone for an RBI double had it scooted by. Hwang not only held the runner, but also made a strong throw to first base for an out.

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Saturday, Hwang moved to first base and used his quick wrists to snap a fifth-inning throw to shortstop Brandon Crawford that started a 3-6-3 double play.

Speaking through interpreter Mark Min-Hyung Kim, Hwang atributed much of his improvement to bench coach Ron Wotus, who also supervises San Francisco's infielders.

Hwang said that Wotus' tutelage has helped him "create efficiencies" by improving subtleties such as footwork. Wotus also helped Hwang improve his defensive stance.

"I used to keep my hands low and relaxed, thinking that keeping my arms relaxed would help me move faster," Hwang said. "Working with Ronnie, I realized that being in an athletic stance, as if I were to run when I'm on base, would be my fastest move."

Woth noting

• Two players from Triple-A Sacramento, infielder-outfielder Ryder Jones and catcher Tim Federowicz, were on hand to join the Giants' 25-man active roster in case first baseman Brandon Belt (left wrist) or catcher Nick Hundley (possible concussion symptoms) had to be placed on the disabled list.

Belt, who missed the previous two games, returned to the lineup on Sunday night against the Dodgers. Hundley did not start.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Jae-Gyun Hwang