Giants not yet ready to activate veteran right-hander


Giants not yet ready to activate veteran right-hander

SAN FRANCISCO — Making a rehab start in Albuquerque seemed to be a good warm-up for a return at Coors Field, but the Giants have decided that Jeff Samardzija likely won’t be activated next week as expected. 

Samardzija needed 40 pitches to get through a five-run first inning on Tuesday night, and while the numbers in a Triple-A game in an unforgiving ballpark weren’t that alarming for staff members, there is concern that Samardzija didn’t get enough work in. Manager Bruce Bochy said he would like to see Samardzija get up and down five or six times in his next rehab start. The right-hander has pitched four innings in each of his past two starts as he works his way back from a shoulder injury. 

“He feels great. He feels fine,” Bochy said. “To get him up five or six times, we would cover ourselves a little bit better. We’ll be sure on this one. He feels like he’s ready — you know Jeff. He wants to be here and pitching. I just think we’ll be more on the cautious side this time.”

The Giants rushed Samardzija back after his first rehab stint and he was never right. This time, two things have changed. Samardzija has noted a difference in the health of his shoulder, and the Giants have gotten much different results from their starting staff. With Madison Bumgarner back and Derek Holland throwing well, there are two veterans giving Bochy consistent innings. Chris Stratton, Andrew Suarez and Dereck Rodriguez have pitched well as the team has gone on a bit of a run. 

--- A day after Austin Slater scored a big run, he was back on the bench. Hunter Pence gets the start in left against southpaw Kyle Freeland. Pence is 4 for 7 off Freeland. He had a walk-off on Sunday and hit a slow roller Tuesday that tapped the third base bag. 

“He’s got the magic wand going a little bit,” Bochy said. 

It does not appear the Giants will give Slater an extended look here. Bochy mentioned that Austin Jackson is due a start sometime soon. 

Tim Flannery finds inspiration after tragedies, releases new album


Tim Flannery finds inspiration after tragedies, releases new album

SAN FRANCISCO -- Tim Flannery has released 14 albums, pulling inspiration from all kinds of sources. Sometimes he would write about the music scene in a certain city, or a character he met during his decades on the road playing and coaching baseball.

But the album Flannery will release Saturday has special meaning. Flannery wrote it after dealing with two different kinds of emotions. 

“This album really started probably out of tragedy,” he said this week.

Last January, Rob Picciolo, a longtime big league coach, and Kevin Towers, the former general manager of the Padres, passed away in the span of a few weeks. Flannery, the former Giants third base coach and current NBC Sports Bay Area analyst, found himself attending the funeral of a close friend on back-to-back weekends. He wrote a song about it called “The Light.”

Later in the year, Flannery’s son, Danny, called him and told him he would be going to rehab in Oregon. That experience was turned into “Ghost Town,” the second track on the album, also called “The Light.”

“That whole episode of dealing with it and even when he got out, some of the things he was thinking and saying about not wanting to go back to his ghost town again, that’s easy for me to relate to,” Flannery said. “I’m sure everybody has their ghost town. The next thing I know I’m writing another song out of it, and something else and something else, and a year and a half later, you’re playing these songs at shows.”

Flannery said he didn’t expect to make another album after his previous one, but he never stops playing, and he found new stories to tell. He said his son was happy that the story was being told through music. 

“He said, ‘I think we can help other people deal with things.’ He’s all-in,” Flannery said. “He’s a changed man and asked me to tell the story.”

Tim Flannery & The Lunatic Fringe will debut the album on Saturday at the Fox Theatre in Redwood City. All proceeds will go to the non-profit Love Harder Project for anti-bullying and anti-violence programs across the country.

“This record is for me like a burning light in a world that has gone dark at times,” Flannery said. “It’s gone dark for different people, for different reasons, but this record is a record of hope, a record of love and light.”

Cameron Maybin, on Giants this spring, to visit Oracle Park with Yankees

Cameron Maybin, on Giants this spring, to visit Oracle Park with Yankees

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants will face two Yankees lefties this weekend at Oracle Park, and for most of this spring, their plan would have called for Cameron Maybin to start those games. If Maybin is in the lineup this weekend, it'll be for the visitors. 

Maybin, a non-roster invitee in Giants camp this spring, was traded to the desperate Yankees on Thursday morning and added to their big league roster. The Yankees sent cash considerations to the Indians, who stashed Maybin at Triple-A after he was let go by the Giants. 

The Yankees turned to Maybin because of unbelievable injury issues in their outfield. Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks are on the DL, and Clint Frazier -- who hit six homers in fill-in duty -- joined them after spraining his left ankle earlier this season. Frazier became the 15th Yankee to hit the injured list (by comparison, the Giants have just one, the rehabbing Johnny Cueto).

The Giants at one point thought Maybin could form a platoon with Steven Duggar or provide depth in their corner outfield spots. But he had a poor spring on and off the field, and ultimately the front office started the year by taking a look at Michael Reed in that spot. It is now Kevin Pillar who provides the right-handed balance and plays center field.

[RELATED: What we learned from Giants' 4-4 road trip]

The Giants, it's fair to say, are happy with how this all turned out. 

Maybin played 14 games in Triple-A for the Indians, hitting .216 with three doubles and 13 walks.