SAN FRANCISCO –- The good news: Matt Cain tested his hamstring with a throwing session off a bullpen mound Saturday. The bad news: The session didn’t last very long.
Cain threw fewer than 20 pitches, and didn’t appear to push hard off the mound for most of them, before heading back to the clubhouse with head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner.
The Giants haven’t made a decision on whether Cain will start Monday afternoon against the Chicago Cubs. It’s possible if Cain only needs an additional 24 hours, they could bump up Tim Hudson after a rain delay limited him to 68 pitches in three innings at Colorado on Thursday. More likely, if the Giants decide to be cautious and skip Cain, Yusmeiro Petit will soak up another spot start.
Petit is available in the bullpen if needed as the Giants prepare for Saturday night’s game against the Minnesota Twins, manager Bruce Bochy said. David Huff is another candidate who could start if needed, Bochy said.
At any rate, we should know the Giants’ plans for Cain soon. He sustained a Grade 1 hamstring strain in his start Wednesday at Coors Field but has looked unencumbered while walking in the clubhouse, taking batting practice and jogging around the bases.
In other pregame news, Bochy acknowledged that left-hander Javier Lopez, who appeared in just one game between April 28 and May 12, was dealing with an elbow that was “a little cranky there.” Bochy said Lopez was pitchable but he tried to treat him as a last-resort reliever for awhile as a precaution.
Finally, Santiago Casilla is walking with barely a limp and sheepishly acknowledged he smelled a hit, which is why he busted it down the line when he sustained a Grade 2 hamstring strain Wednesday. Casilla will miss roughly four weeks, and Bochy agreed with the suggestion that it could be a silver lining if one of his top setup men is a little bit fresher in September as a result.