The outfield is not Bruce Bochy's primary concern
Chad Gaudin will be eligible to return from the disabled list on July 6. (AP)
LOS ANGELES – The Giants will be without Angel Pagan until September at least, but the outfield situation wasn’t the primary concern for Giants manager Bruce Bochy as his club prepared to start a 10-game, three-city road trip at Dodger Stadium.
“It’s the bullpen we’ve got to get in order,” Bochy said.
The Giants had two new pitchers in their clubhouse Monday. Right-hander George Kontos returned from Triple-A Fresno; the club recalled him and optioned struggling right-hander Jean Machi.
And left-hander Mike Kickham has a big league locker again. Bochy confirmed that Kickham would start Tuesday against the Dodgers in place of Chad Gaudin, who was placed on the disabled list with a contusion on his right forearm.
Kickham is coming off a solid outing in which he allowed one run in 7 2/3 innings. And he did that at Reno, which is kind of like pitching on the moon.
Kickham said he used his sinker and changeup to get ground balls, and he plans to use the experience he gained from his shortened debut loss at Oakland last month.
He said he learned something from his rough starts earlier in the year at Fresno, too.
“Looking back, I kind of needed that,” Kickham said.”It was a little wakeup call to be conscious of making adjustments, pay attention to my front side, keep from flying open.”
Gaudin will be eligible to return July 6. That would mean missing at least one more start in addition to Tuesday’s outing, should he rejoin the rotation upon his return.
As for Kontos, he posted scoreless outings in three of four appearances for Fresno, and the ball didn’t leave the infield in the one when he gave up runs. He still has a three-game suspension stemming from hitting Andrew McCutchen with a pitch in Pittsburgh; he is appealing that suspension and was eligible to pitch Tuesday night.
In other news, shortstop Brandon Crawford is getting a day off against a lefty, Hyun-Jin Ryu, since his sprained fingers are still a little tender and he doesn’t quite have his timing back. Crawford will start Tuesday, Bochy said.
Andres Torres’ knee is better, he said.
Finally, Marco Scutaro said his pinky finger splint was too bothersome so he just took it off when he hits. His mallet finger is likely to remain permanently bent as a result. That’s a bargain he’s willing to make.
I asked Scutaro if he heard about Ronnie Lott’s decision to amputate part of his finger when it wouldn’t heal quickly enough.
Permanently bent and lopped off are two different things.
“Yeah, somebody told me about that,” Scutaro said. “That is crazy.”