Belt provides scouting report on Wheeler; battling through skid
SAN FRANCISCO -- At no point this season has Santiago Casilla's absence been felt more strongly than in the Giants' 10-6 loss to the Mets on Tuesday. Three relievers combined to pitch three innings, over which Jose Mijares, Jeremy Affeldt and Jake Dunning allowed five earned runs and took the loss.
The Giants won't wonder how to replace their set-up man for much longer, as Casilla could be activated for Game 1 of the Padres series on Thursday.
"I'm ready," Casilla said Wednesday.
He added that he would be physically ready to pitch in the series opener, but he might not get that chance. Manager Bruce Bochy indicated that the team hasn't made the final decision on Casilla yet, and will discuss the options after Wednesday's game.
It's possible that Casilla will throw a bullpen on Thursday, which would push his activation back.
"If we think he's ready to go, we'll activate him tomorrow," Bochy said.
Casilla, 32, appeared in five Single-A games for San Jose during his rehab stint, starting twice. He allowed seven hits and three earned runs over five innings of work, while striking out two and walking five.
Nearly two years after Zack Wheeler was traded to the Mets in the deadline deal that brought Carlos Beltran to San Francisco, the 23-year-old right-hander will take the mound against the team that made him the sixth overall pick in the 2009 draft, looking to serve the Giants a series sweep.
Bochy, who's never seen Wheeler pitch in person, provided the scouting report: "Power arm. Live arm. Ball has a lot of life. He has one of those fastballs that has another gear on it once it gets about half-way to home plate. Good mechanics. You have your work cut out when you face a power arm like this."
Wheeler is 2-1 with a 4.29 ERA in four major league starts since he was called up. Though since his debut on June 18, he has thrown the fourth-most pitches per inning (19.0) among qualified pitchers, allowed the most stolen bases (7) of any pitcher, and walked multiple batters in each of his starts.
"It's going to be pretty cool to pitch against the organization I was drafted by," Wheeler said on Tuesday. "It'll be fun. … I definitely want to go out there and do well for myself and maybe show them what they could have had, I guess. That would be fun."
Marco Scutaro is not in the lineup for Wednesday's game, and it was news to him. The second baseman was preparing to play until a reporter asked him why he wasn't in the lineup. The surprised Scutaro, who has played 25 innings over the past two days, sauntered over to the new lineup board in the locker room for confirmation.
"He's just getting a day, he needs a day," Bochy said. "I didn't want to give Buster and Scutaro off the same day."
After catching all 16 innings on Monday, Posey sat out Tuesday's 10-6 loss to the Mets, although he did enter to play first base as part of an eighth-inning double switch.
Scutaro had a wrap around his midsection in the Giants locker room and spoke briefly with head athletic trainer David Groeschner while removing it.
"Just getting loose," Scutaro clarified, adding that he expected to be back in the lineup Thursday.