Bruce Bochy

Swelling in right thumb keeps Posey out vs Padres

buster-ap.jpg
AP

Swelling in right thumb keeps Posey out vs Padres

SAN DIEGO -- The Giants will try to salvage a series split without their best bat. 

Buster Posey was out of Sunday's lineup because of swelling in his right thumb. Bruce Bochy said Posey will be able to start Tuesday, and he wanted to give him two full days off since the Giants have a travel day Monday. 

When Posey returns, he'll catch Johnny Cueto. The right-hander's ankle felt good a day after he pitched a simulated game and he'll return to the rotation for the opener with the Diamondbacks. It at first seemed that Jeff Samardzija would be right behind him, but that's now up for discussion. 

Samardzija made a rehab start for the San Jose Giants on Saturday night and allowed six runs in the first inning while fighting command issues. He was much better after that, hitting 95 mph while piling up strikeouts late, and he reached 62 pitches. Still, Bochy said the staff is leaning toward having Samardzija (strained pectoral) make one more rehab start in the minors. 

--- Mac Williamson homered again Saturday. It was his fourth of the season, but don't expect him in the big league outfield anytime soon. 

"They haven't played that many games there, let's let these guys get some playing time and settled in, just like our guys," Bochy said. "Right now, we have no plans to make changes."

--- Austin Slater has started taking grounders at first in Triple-A. Bochy said the staff wants Slater, who was drafted as a second baseman, to get more versatility. The Giants are pleased with the way Gorkys Hernandez and Gregor Blanco have played as big league backup outfielders, and Williamson is now ahead of Slater in the pecking line for an outfield call-up. So this should help his cause. 

Giants flame out again, but don't expect lineup changes yet

Giants flame out again, but don't expect lineup changes yet

SAN DIEGO — It is common, when a team is going through a stretch like this, for the manager to be asked about shuffling the lineup. Perhaps a struggling star needs to be moved down in the lineup, and after Friday’s 5-1 loss to the Padres, Bruce Bochy was asked if he thinks Evan Longoria needs a break from the No. 5 spot. 

“I don’t know… do you think?” he said, his eyes wide. “Obviously these are things we’re talking about, what is the best way to go, but it’s not one guy. We’ve got three or four guys who are still trying to find it here in the early go.”

You could argue it’s even more than that, and Bochy later had a more telling comment. 

“When someone gets really hot, you move them, but that’s not the case right now,” he said. 

The staff can meet for hours a day, but there’s not much that can be changed when most of a lineup is slumping or inconsistent. Joe Panik got off to a hot start and has remained on track, and he looks poised to hit first or second all year. Buster Posey saw his hitting streak snapped Friday, but he’s still batting .341. 

Other than that … 

  • Andrew McCutchen has two walk-offs but he’s also batting just .204. He came up in a big spot in the seventh and bounced into a double play, dropping to 3-for-21 with runners in scoring position. 
  • Brandon Crawford had three singles on Friday but he entered the day batting .225. 
  • Brandon Belt had two singles, but he continues to strike out in big spots. 
  • On his birthday, Hunter Pence went hitless in four at-bats, dropping his average to .200. 
  • Longoria struck out three times, dropping to .149. 
     

“We’re still having a tough time getting that big hit,” Bochy said. “That’s got to pick up here. We’ve got to find a way to get these runners in.”

The game was the 13th of the season and the Giants have been held to zero or one run in seven of them. But they also scored 10 runs against Felix Hernandez, seven in a thrilling win over the Dodgers on Saturday, and seven here on Thursday. That kind of inconsistency has managed to keep them around .500. It has also made it difficult to truly make lineup changes. 

Bochy said the staff will continue to talk, but don’t expect anything drastic on Saturday. The Giants are facing a left-handed starter, so it’s not an ideal time to give too many of the regulars a breather. The heart of the lineup is right-handed. 

The frustration is building, but Bochy remains hopeful this group will come out of the funk. He’s hoping the inconsistency ends soon.

“You look at how the season has gone and we’ve been pretty good or it’s been a rough go,” he said. “Seven games, one run or less, that’s not going to work.”

Giants still holding out on Beede-Suarez decision

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USATSI

Giants still holding out on Beede-Suarez decision

SAN FRANCISCO — Given a surprise Friday night off in April, Bruce Bochy went a little wild. 

He watched Orioles-Yankees AND A’s-Angels. The baseball never stops this time of year, and perhaps as he watched Pedro Alvarez and Shohei Ohtani hit moonshots, Bochy spent some time thinking about what’s ahead of the Giants. The immediate moves were made earlier Friday, when the Giants — rained out — decided to move Derek Holland back to Monday and keep Chris Stratton and Ty Blach on schedule. Bochy said he didn’t want to disrupt too many guys. 

That means Johnny Cueto — whose ankle is fine, by the way — starts Tuesday and a call-up starts Wednesday. The Giants aren’t ready to reveal whether it’ll be Tyler Beede or Andrew Suarez. Both have made one minor league start.

I’ve thought all along that Beede would get that start because he’s on the 40-man roster and Suarez is not, and it seemed more likely when the Giants sent Beede to A-ball to make sure he stayed on turn. But Bochy said the roster issue won’t come into play. 

“We’re looking to put our best guy out there,” Bochy said. 

Stay tuned. 

--- Jeff Samardzija threw a long bullpen session on Friday and will throw in a camp game in Arizona on Monday, along with Will Smith. After that, Samardzija will probably throw one more minor league rehab game and then rejoin the rotation. If he’s in San Jose, he’ll likely be with Smith again. The lefty is expected to start his minor league rehab next week.

--- An interesting pre-game note from Bochy: He said he purposely loaded Wednesday’s lineup with Venezuelans against countryman Felix Hernandez. Pablo Sandoval and Gregor Blanco were already scheduled to play, but Bochy had a decision to make when Hunter Pence was a late scratch. 

“The one guy was Gorkys. I know Gorkys really looks up to (Felix),” Bochy said. “I wanted to get Gorkys in there. When Pence couldn’t go, I could have played (Austin) Jackson.”

The hunch worked. Hernandez and Sandoval both homered in a blowout of King Felix and the Mariners.