Giants Notes: Positive developments emerge as Bumgarner stretches it out

Giants Notes: Positive developments emerge as Bumgarner stretches it out

MILWAUKEE — Madison Bumgarner walked into the dugout during batting practice earlier this week and grabbed one of Jeff Samardzija’s bats. He started gripping it and lightly waving it back and forth, and then he looked up at trainer Dave Groeschner with an expectant look on his face.

No, Bumgarner has not yet been cleared to take batting practice, which is a downer this week. He would regularly take aim at the slide and back concourse here at Miller Park. 

There are positive signs elsewhere, however. Bumgarner has played catch nearly every day for the past week, and he’s starting to stretch out the distance. He's at about 90 feet at this point. Bumgarner has avoided giving interviews for the most part, but manager Bruce Bochy said their daily conversations are positive.

“He still has some work ahead of him, but he feels better each day,” Bochy said. “I told him, ‘Be honest, how are you feeling?’ He says as when he starts out, he feels (the shoulder) a little bit. But once he gets going it goes away. “

Bumgarner has had no setbacks during flat-ground throwing, but he’s still a ways away from getting on a mound. Bochy said it could be several more weeks. At this point, Bumgarner is in pre-spring training mode. 

In the meantime, the Giants haven’t missed much of a beat with Ty Blach inserted in the rotation. Blach is even taking his Mini Bumgarner routine into batting practice. He hit one halfway up the second deck Monday, earning cheers from the fellow pitchers. 

--- Jarrett Parker will be reevaluated once the Giants return home Friday, and after that it could just be a few days before he starts a rehab assignment. He isn’t particularly close to the big leagues, though. Bochy said Parker will need a lengthy rehab assignment, so you’re probably looking at a couple weeks or more in the minors. Bochy said Parker still can make something of a season that started with a starting job. 

“There’s plenty of time,” he said. “We’re one-third of the way through the season and he’ll be back, I’m guessing, before we’re at the halfway point.”

Parker was the first Giant to play left field this season. Austin Slater became the 12th on Tuesday. What would Bochy have said if you told him that before the season?

“I would have said things are not going very well in left field,” he said.

That’s an understatement. Entering Tuesday’s game, opening day third baseman Eduardo Nuñez had the most at-bats (66) in left field, followed by Chris Marrero (who is now playing in Japan) and Brandon Belt. 

The Giants have already had seven players get at least 10 at-bats in left and Slater should soon make it eight. By comparison, only four players did that all of last season. Only seven Giants got an at-bat in left last season (plus Cory Gearrin, who played a couple minutes defensively). 

--- Elias dug deep on the Jeff Samardzija stat we’ve all been tweeting/writing: Samardzija is actually the only pitcher in their recorded history (going back to 1900) to have a seven-start stretch of at least 50 strikeouts and just one walk. 

There's no indication that the Giants are considering including Samardzija in any mid-season sale, but he would be an interesting chip. His FIP is down to 2.90 and the xFIP is 2.73, so organizations that avoid the win-loss record will see one of the best starting pitchers in the NL. 

--- From last night, here's what Bruce Bochy had to say about Sam Dyson, who will join the Giants later this week. 

Dodgers lose Justin Turner to broken wrist after getting hit by pitch vs A's


Dodgers lose Justin Turner to broken wrist after getting hit by pitch vs A's

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Los Angeles third baseman Justin Turner's broken left wrist is expected to heal without surgery, according to Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts.

Turner was hurt Monday when hit by a pitch from Oakland's Kendall Graveman.

Turner arrived at the Dodgers spring training facility with a cast over his wrist Tuesday morning and was scheduled to see a hand specialist for an estimate of the time he could miss.

"We know that it's not a surgery thing, it's just essentially time," Roberts said. "That's the initial thought. That could change but that's what I've heard."

Turner hit .322 with 21 homers and 71 RBIs last year and was a first-time All-Star. He had 14 RBIs against the Chicago Cubs in the NL Championship Series and was voted MVP.

The Dodgers appear poised to move Logan Forsythe from second base to third in Turner's absence and have Enrique Hernandez and Chase Utley share time at second.

"It obviously makes a lot of sense to have Logan over there a lot more at third, and to kind of put together some guys at second base, and leave Chris (Taylor) in center field," Roberts said.

Backup catcher Austin Barnes also could see time at second base.

Giants' outfield picture becoming clearer after latest round of roster cuts


Giants' outfield picture becoming clearer after latest round of roster cuts

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants moved closer to setting their opening day roster on Monday when they made a significant round of cuts to their spring training roster. 

A total of 15 players were reassigned or optioned, bringing the total to 31 players remaining in camp. Many of the players cut Monday entered the spring competing for jobs. 

In the outfield, Mac Williamson and Austin Slater were optioned to Triple-A and Chris Shaw was reassigned to minor league camp. Williamson had a huge spring and was the likeliest of the trio to push for an opening day spot, but he'll start his year in the minors. Steven Duggar was not among the cuts, and he remains an option to make the team, with the Giants also looking at Gregor Blanco, Gorkys Hernandez and Jarrett Parker for backup spots. Hernandez and Parker are out of minor league options. 

Tyler Beede was optioned and Andrew Suarez was reassigned to minor league camp, leaving three players vying for the final two rotation spots. Ty Blach and Chris Stratton have been the favorites all along, although both struggled the last time out and Derek Holland has had a strong spring. 

Both backup catchers -- Trevor Brown and Hector Sanchez -- were reassigned, along with Orlando Calixte, who saw time in the big leagues last year. Joan Gregorio, Jose Valdez, Justin O'Conner and Kyle Jensen were also reassigned. Chase d'Arnaud, who appeared to be making a strong push, was on the list, too, leaving Josh Rutledge as the only competition for Kelby Tomlinson for the final infield spot. 

Finally, Derek Law and Roberto Gomez were optioned to Triple-A. Josh Osich remains and appears the frontrunner for a bullpen job. Julian Fernandez, the Rule 5 pick, also remains in camp. 

The Giants break camp on Friday.