SAN FRANCISCO – Francisco Peguero has been considered one of the Giants most intriguing hitting prospects for years because of his speed, athleticism and blurry-fast bat speed.
Unfortunately for Peguero, for more than a month this season, his bat wasn’t the only blurry object. He sustained a concussion June 11 when a pitch struck the ear flap of his helmet, and for the next four weeks, every sudden movement brought on a wave of nausea.
“Headaches, throwing up, everything,” the 25-year-old outfielder said. “It was a long time before I started to feel normal again.”
It was Peguero’s second concussion. He also sustained one in 2008 at Low-A Augusta when he collided with a first baseman near the bag. That’s why Giants officials waited to make sure Peguero passed all the tests before he returned to the Grizzlies July 24.
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He didn’t take long to get up to speed, and was hitting .318 with 11 doubles, two triples and three home runs along with 29 RBIs. He also feels he’s better prepared for major league pitching after making his debut last season and then getting a brief look in May (when he was 3 for 16 in six games, including four starts).
The Giants are 16-26 against left-handed starters, so Peguero’s right-handed bat figures to get a shot down the stretch – especially now that Jeff Francoeur has been designated for assignment.
Peguero isn’t starting Saturday against Pirates lefty Francisco Liriano, though, because Giants manager Bruce Bochy already wanted to play Brett Pill in left field, where he hasn’t seen much action. Peguero has played most of the year in the outfield corners, with Gary Brown and Juan Perez the primary center fielders for Fresno. So Bochy didn’t want to penalize Tim Lincecum by starting two outfielders at positions where they haven’t played much this season.
Bochy reiterated that he does plan to play younger guys, though – although he’ll also run Angel Pagan out there every day once he returns from the disabled list Sept. 1. It remains to be seen whether Bochy will mix in some days off for right fielder Hunter Pence, who will start his 138th consecutive game – the longest streak in the NL and the sixth in the majors.
In other news, left-hander Jeremy Affeldt (strained groin) has begun throwing off a mound and could begin a minor league rehab assignment next week, Bochy said.
And yes, Barry Zito will get another start Monday at Coors Field. That really wasn’t much of a question following Matt Cain’s trip to the disabled list.