SAN FRANCISCO – Giants manager Bruce Bochy had a very busy Friday morning, and he wasn’t just brainstorming how his team might halt its downhill skid.
Bochy is making final decisions on who his final reserves will be for the National League All-Star team. As the N.L. manager for the July 16 showcase, Bochy has to turn in his final roster by 11 a.m. (PT) Saturday.
“It’s always difficult decisions, but I’m pretty close to having it down,” Bochy said before Friday’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. “I’ve talked to a lot of managers, and my staff’s been helping me, including (the) baseball operations (staff).”
Of course, with the Dodgers in town, the white-hot topic is whether Bochy will select rookie outfielder Yasiel Puig, who is hitting .430 and taken the majors by storm since his promotion June 3. Puig was named the N.L. Player of the Month for June, the first player to win the award in his first month in the majors since the award was instituted in 1958.
But considering he’s played just over one month of the season, the issue is whether he deserves to be an All-Star.
Bochy did not offer what decision he’s made on Puig.
“Tomorrow we’ll know who’s gonna make the club and which way we’re gonna go,” Bochy said. “He’s done a great job. Believe me, that’s not gone unnoticed. There’s a lot of interest from a lot of different people to have him in there. I understand that. I gotta do what I think is right, and tomorrow you’ll know that.”
Reliever Santiago Casilla said his right knee continues to get better after having surgery to remove a bone cyst. He said he feels no pain, and the final hurdle before he comes off the disabled list will be pitching in back-to-back games in the minors.
The earliest that would probably happen is Sunday and Monday, but Casilla said he thinks he could be activated by next week. He said his knee feels good when he’s pushing off the mound and when he fields his position. The biggest obstacle is knocking rust off and regaining his command.
“When I’m pitching, it feels like the start of spring training,” Casilla admitted. Bochy confirmed that Casilla’s back-to-back minor league outings will happen “real soon.”
With the Giants coming off a 1-8 road trip, Bochy said the key for his team is keeping its confidence and realizing its only 4 ½ games out of first place in the N.L. West.
“You’re in early July, at the halfway point,”Bochy said. “You have to consider yourself fortunate, despite our struggles, that we are in this thing. We have to keep reminding ourselves that we are despite going through probably as tough a streak as I’ve been through here.”
The Giants have combined for just seven hits over their last three games. The only other time they’ve endured such a three-day stretch in their San Francisco history was April 18-21, 1978.