SAN FRANCISCO – The Giants are nearing a decision on a course of treatment for Santiago Casilla’s ailing right knee, with surgery “a strong possibility,” manager Bruce Bochy said.
Casilla, a right-handed setup man who served ably as the closer in the first half of last season, was placed on the disabled list after his knee flared up again Monday. The club had stayed away from using him for nine days, hoping the cyst in his knee would quiet down with rest.
If he has surgery, recovery time would be around four weeks, Bochy said. Even if he decides to rehab instead, Casilla would miss a minimum of two more weeks.
“I will say he will miss a minimum of two more weeks,” Bochy said. “We’re weighing the options.”
Bochy said the club likely would announce a course of treatment after Friday’s game against the Colorado Rockies.
In other pregame news, the Giants remain undecided on a starter to take the ball Tuesday and replace Ryan Vogelsong in the rotation. Bochy indicated he could put off making the call until Sunday.
In the meantime, Chad Gaudin remains available out of the bullpen if needed. He’s considered one of their top options, along with Triple-A Fresno starters Shane Loux and Mike Kickham.
Kickham, a left-hander, had his fifth consecutive solid outing for the Grizzlies on Thursday. The Giants had a day off, but no additional front office personnel (or field staff) made the trip to see Kickham pitch. They did review video of his start, however.
Kickham, 24, held Oklahoma City to one run on four hits in 6 1/3 innings. The left-hander got off to a rough start in April but is 3-1 with a 1.72 ERA in May, with a 29-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 31 1/3 innings.
The general thought among club officials is that Kickham isn’t ready for the big leagues, but he could be deemed their best choice under the circumstances –- especially if Gaudin is needed in long relief between now and Tuesday.
If you missed it, Double-A Richmond had a tremendous ending to a victory Thursday. Second baseman Joe Panik caught a line drive to start a triple play. There aren’t many announcers who could’ve nailed the call any better than Jon Laaser, the talented voice of the Flying Squirrels. Hear his call here.