Bochy eager to see Vogelsong on mound -- Burrell, too

April 11, 2012, 11:43 pm
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DENVER -- The tarp is on the field and the Giants won't be able to take batting practice today due to a passing thunderstorm, but it's already beginning to brighten a bit at Coors Field.

The outlook is brightening for Ryan Vogelsong, too. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Vogelsong came out of his final rehab start (six innings, 93 pitches) for Triple-A Fresno with no back stiffness, and he'll start against the Pittsburgh Pirates when the club activates him on Sunday.

"He'll meet us back home, take a bullpen and he ready to go," Bochy said. "It's all gone as well as it could."

Bochy also is eager to see Pat Burrell on a mound. He reacted with surprise when told that the recently retired left fielder would throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Tuesday when the Giants take on the Phillies.

Bochy said Burrell usually approached him during blowout games and offered to serve as an emergency pitcher. He went as far to start getting loose in an indoor cage a few times.

"I'll get a chance to see what it looks like I guess," Bochy said. "He won't bounce it. There's a lot of pride there. If he bounces it, he knows he won't hear the end of it."

In other pregame news, Bochy said Brandon Belt took early hitting and was in a good frame of mind even though he's not starting for the second consecutive day. Belt was a victim of getting Nate Schierholtz in the lineup -- something Bochy said he felt it was important to do.

"I hate to get home with Nate not getting one start on the road trip," Bochy said.

Bochy said Belt could start at first base on Thursday, even with left-hander Jamie Moyer on the mound. Brett Pill will be in the lineup, either at first base or left field, Bochy said.

Bochy expects Buster Posey to be in the lineup, too. The manager said he wasn't worried about covering the catching position. Posey volunteered to play despite his case of shingles; Bochy told him to take another day and be ready for Thursday's day game.

Posey was stretching on the field with the team before the rain forced everyone indoors. He is available off the bench tonight.

Finally, Thursday's matchup of 49-year-old Jamie Moyer and 22-year-old Madison Bumgarner is not the largest age spread between two opposing starting pitchers in major league history. But it's the largest in nearly five decades.

Satchel Paige was 59 years old when he started for the Kansas City A's against the Boston Red Sox and 29-year-old Bill Monbouquette on Sept. 25, 1965. That's an age difference of 30 years and 35 days.

Moyer had wandered this earth for 26 years and 256 days when Bumgarner entered the world.