DENVER -- Major League Baseball sent a suspension-related press release out at 2:09 p.m. local time Thursday, but it wasn't the one the Giants were waiting for.
Jair Jurrjens, the former Brave and now a Dodgers minor leaguer, was suspended 80 games for using a banned substance, but there remains no word on the final verdict in Hunter Strickland's case. The pitcher was a little baffled Thursday as he prepared to play a third game since his Tuesday morning appeal hearing, and manager Bruce Bochy is confused, too.
"I'm trying to find out myself," he said when asked why there is such a delay. "We have not heard a word. I have nothing to tell you about why it's taking so long. We would like to know."
The delay has put the Giants in an odd spot. Bochy used Strickland twice in the Royals series, and the Giants were getting blown out both times. He was trying to save his other relievers, figuring that at the very latest, Strickland would hear the result of his appeal before the opener in Denver. Whenever MLB makes a ruling, Strickland will start serving his suspension, either for six games or a lesser amount.
Bochy talked to Strickland on Thursday and said the reliever is available to pitch a third straight day. He needed just 22 pitches to get six outs on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The suspension dates back all the way to May 29, when Strickland threw a pitch at Bryce Harper and the two briefly fought. Suspensions and fines were announced the next day and Harper's appeal was heard before the final game of that series. He had his suspension cut from four games to three and served one game against the Giants and two against the A's.
Two weeks later, the Giants are still waiting for the other shoe to drop.
--- There's an official date for Madison Bumgarner's simulated game. He'll throw Sunday morning at Coors Field and then head to Arizona to continue rehabbing at the minor league facility there. If all goes well Sunday, Bumgarner and the Giants will map out a rehab start schedule that likely will take him through San Jose and Sacramento.
Jarrett Parker (shoulder surgery) will face Bumgarner. He said he's just about ready for his own rehab assignment.