SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Dan Runzler's stated goals this spring were to smooth out the kinks in his delivery, throw plenty of strikes and boost his odds of winning a chair in the Giants bullpen.
The unstated goal: Stay healthy.
Runzler ran into a bump that could be significant. According to a San Francisco Chronicle report, the power left-hander is going for tests after experiencing shoulder discomfort in his last bullpen session.
Runzler had been in the final stages of rehabbing a strained lat muscle in his side, which he strained in the regular-season finale last year. He had made changes to his herky-jerky delivery in an effort to find a motion he could repeat to throw more strikes.
The Giants received a day off on Friday, the eve of their Cactus League opener. It's expected they will have more information on Runzler's condition on Saturday.
The club is mostly set in the bullpen: closer Brian Wilson, right-hander Sergio Romo, right-hander Santiago Casilla, left-hander Jeremy Affeldt and left-hander Javier Lopez are guaranteed spots. Right-hander Guillermo Mota is expected to be on the team and right-hander Clay Hensley was considered the frontrunner over Runzler for the final spot.
But Runzler was expected to be a valuable piece, especially after he pitched well last September. There was more on that in the feature on Runzler that I wrote a few days ago.