DENVER — Jarrett Parker was supposed to spend Sunday morning taking some hacks against Madison Bumgarner. Instead, the big lefty headed to Scottsdale to throw pitches on Saturday. Parker didn’t join Bumgarner, but he’ll soon make a trip of his own.
Parker’s rehab assignment starts Monday with the Sacramento River Cats. He has not played since suffering a fractured right clavicle on April 16, but he has been taking swings for several weeks and finally felt ready to get back into games.
Parker was hitting just .143 when he got hurt, but Bruce Bochy felt he was finally starting to find his swing in the at-bats leading up to the collision with the left field wall at AT&T Park. Left field belongs to Austin Slater right now, and with a .386 average in 12 games, it doesn’t look like Slater is going to be giving up any playing time. Still, this is an important rehab assignment for the Giants.
They still need to figure out if Parker will be part of the 2018 mix, and it’s possible that he starts to see serious time in right field. Hunter Pence has struggled offensively and defensively, and there’s a sense with team officials that some veterans will start losing playing time soon. Parker has played a bit of center field in the past and the Giants should probably figure out if he can add that to the plate, too. The current backup plan in center has not worked.
--- As for Bumgarner, it was actually 25 pitches yesterday, not 40 as reporters were first told. He’ll throw another simulated game Wednesday in Scottsdale, and then likely one more. If all goes well, you’re probably looking at a rehab start sometime around June 29-30.
--- Ty Blach grew up a few minutes from Coors Field and used to come to games here all the time. He’ll have about 100 family members and friends in the seats today, including his father, Randy.
--- The Giants have never been swept by the Rockies in a four-game series. Those are the stakes for Blach today.
A day after the Giants got good news about their No. 3 starter, their No. 1 left the game with an injury.
Madison Bumgarner left Friday's spring training game against the Kansas City Royals in the third inning after a Whit Merrifield line drive hit his pitching hand. Bumgarner, who's scheduled to start Opening Day against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Mar. 29, was making his final start before the regular season.
He was off to a strong start this spring. In five appearances, Bumgarner posted a 2.84 ERA and 0.95 WHIP in 19.0 innings pitched.
The 28-year-old missed nearly three months last season after injuring his left shoulder in a dirtbike accident.
This story is being updated.
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants nearly left Scottsdale unscathed. Instead they'll leave with an injured No. 3 starter, but the news on Jeff Samardzija late Thursday night was good news.
Manager Bruce Bochy told reporters that Samardzija has a strained pectoral muscle that will sideline him for the start of the season. But given that Samardzija, who has had a rough spring, went for an MRI on his shoulder a week before the season opener, team officials have to be breathing a sigh of relief.
"He'll go a week without throwing the ball and then crank it back up," Bochy told reporters, including Kerry Crowley of the San Jose Mercury News. "It should't take long to get him back on the mound so it's good news."
Samardzija was supposed to take the ball next Saturday at Dodger Stadium. Instead, the Giants will rely on two young pitchers and a non-roster invitee at the back end of their rotation. The injury ends a three-way race for the final two spots between Chris Stratton, Ty Blach and Derek Holland. The Giants could use all three in the rotation until Samardzija is healthy, or they could skip their No. 5 starter and move one of the pitchers into the bullpen.
Because the Giants have two off days before their seventh game, Madison Bumgarner can line up to pitch three of the first nine games. The Giants have been considering that all spring, although they have yet to publicly announce a decision one way or the other. Bumgarner said early in camp that he would be up to the challenge, and given how sharp he was all spring, that might be the best way to tread water until Samardzija is cleared to return to the rotation.