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Federowicz shows no rust coming off bench

MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

PHOENIX -- Tim Federowicz explained that catching helps his hitting. Unfortunately for him, he hasn't done much of either activity recently.

Yet it wasn't completely surprising to see Federowicz belt a two-run homer in his first at-bat after entering the Giants' 11-4 loss to the D-backs in the bottom of the fourth.

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PHOENIX -- Tim Federowicz explained that catching helps his hitting. Unfortunately for him, he hasn't done much of either activity recently.

Yet it wasn't completely surprising to see Federowicz belt a two-run homer in his first at-bat after entering the Giants' 11-4 loss to the D-backs in the bottom of the fourth.

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Before his 2-for-3 performance Tuesday, Federowicz had received just 10 at-bats this month as a September callup. However, he has learned techniques for maintaining his swing while remaining idle. One of his exercises, for example, is to step in against a pitching machine that's emitting maximum-velocity fastballs. It's a drill that's employed often by seldom-used players.

"It's tough. Every day, you've got to be swinging," said Federowicz, who's widely known among teammates as "FedX." He added, "In a game, act like you've been playing every day. You just try to be ready as much as possible."

Federowicz added that catching helps his hitting, most likely because the pitches he tracks while playing behind the plate help him grow accustomed to measuring fastballs, curves and sliders from the vantage point of the batter's box.

"In the Minor Leagues, when I was a designated hitter, I always felt like I saw the ball better when I caught instead," Federowicz said.

Dave Brundage, who managed Federowicz this season at Triple-A Sacramento and is helping the Giants as a coach this month, appreciated the 30-year-old's approach.

"That's the sign of a veteran guy who knows how to keep things sharp," Brundage said. "The young guys don't have that feel. They think, 'I haven't played and I haven't swung and I'm used to playing every day in the Minor Leagues.' And so now [they] sit for a week and mentally, you're already kind of beat."

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, Tim Federowicz