Sandoval talks about San Jose rehab assignment
SAN FRANCISCO – Chad Gaudin knew he’d wake up with a sore forearm. He didn’t expect to feel like someone had kicked him in the lower back.
Then it dawned on him: He absorbed a comebacker there, too.
“Am I fortunate? Of course, that goes without saying,” said Gaudin, who hopes to make his next start Tuesday at Dodger Stadium. “It could’ve hit bone, broken something. It’s just a big ol’ bad contusion.”
The bruise at the top of his right forearm is most concerning, of course. Gaudin wore a compression sleeve and will try to play light catch Saturday. He was optimistic he’d be able to throw his usual side session on Sunday. Until the right-hander does that with no issues, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said it would be premature to ink a starter for Tuesday’s game against the Dodgers.
“I’ll be honest, it’s a little soon to say he’ll make his next start,” Bochy said.
If Gaudin couldn’t go, the Giants likely would recall left-hander Mike Kickham. The rookie pitched 7 1/3 strong innings at Reno on Thursday, holding the Aces to one run.
As for Gaudin’s lower back, that was more an annoyance than anything else. He was struck there on Placido Polanco’s infield single in the first inning before Derek Dietrich’s line drive smoked him on the arm in the fifth.
Shortstop Brandon Crawford was out of the lineup for the third consecutive day with sprained index and middle fingers on his right hand. But Crawford was able to grip a baseball and throw from 120 feet. He still feels discomfort when he releases the ball, though, so he’s getting one more day to let the pain and swelling subside. He’s expected to return to the lineup Saturday.
Hitting is not a problem, so Crawford is available off the bench.
Bochy is not backing off Jeremy Affeldt as his primary setup man.
Affeldt has blown leads in three of his last four appearances, including Thursday night’s 2-1 loss to the Marlins when Marcell Ozuna reached out to hit a two-run single on an 0-2 pitch. But the Giants don’t have any other tested options while Santiago Casilla is on the disabled list, and it’s not like Affeldt has gotten cuffed around.
“We need him,” Bochy said. “He’s one of our guys and I thought a couple balls got away from him. He made some great pitches. The last time (vs. Ozuna) was not a bad pitch. The stuff is good and he’s healthy and he’s one of our setup guys and will continue to be.”
As for Casilla, who had surgery to remove a bone cyst near his knee, he has thrown off a mound with no problems and will throw a full side session on Saturday. If all goes well, he’d face hitters in a simulated inning early next week at Dodger Stadium and then go on a minor league rehab assignment for two or three appearances.
He could be activated before the Giants wrap up their next road trip, July 4 at Cincinnati.
Finally, what about the wrinkles in Saturday’s lineup against Marlins right-hander Ricky Nolasco, who is 4-0 with an 0.87 ERA in four starts?
Bochy said he wasn’t conceding defense for offense by pairing Hector Sanchez with Tim Lincecum and putting Buster Posey at first base. Posey would catch just one of two games with a day game Saturday, and so Bochy decided to go this way.
Given how tough Lincecum is to catch, you have to wonder if Guillermo Quiroz would’ve been a better way to go.
Pablo Sandoval (strained foot) was supposed to DH for Single-A San Jose at Stockton Friday night. He’s playing third base, instead. He’s eager to get going.