DENVER — Jeff Samardzija has a home in Scottsdale, which has made it easy to work out at the team’s Arizona facility in past offseasons. But this winter, the most important of Samardzija’s time with the Giants, will be spent in San Francisco.
Samardzija typically rests early in the offseason to recover from a 200-inning run, but he plans to stay close to AT&T Park once the season ends so he can rehab with members of the big-league staff. Samardzija’s winter will be spent letting the inflammation in his right shoulder calm down and then rebuilding the strength in his shoulder.
“Instead of just resting, the rest needs to be productive rest,” he said.
Rest is what Samardzija has needed all season. Every doctor who has seen his shoulder has prescribed taking time off — surgery hasn’t been mentioned by any of them — but Samardzija tried to return from the injury three times. On Tuesday his season officially ended. The Giants put Samardzija on the 60-day disabled list to clear a roster spot for Abiatal Avelino.
Samardzija went 1-5 with a 6.25 ERA and made just 10 starts. Looking back on the brutal season, he said the timing of the initial injury was the most unfortunate part. Because Samardzija’s shoulder first stiffened in spring training, he never had time to let the inflammation die down. He said there is still inflammation in his shoulder and the first part of his offseason will be about getting it completely wiped out.
To help with that process, Samardzija will continue to see shoulder specialists. He was coy when talking about that process Tuesday, but said he’s seeking more info on how to get rid of this issue and make sure it doesn’t return next spring.
“It’s to get more of an exact plan of action going forward,” Samardzija said.
It has been easy to forget about Samardzija in this season’s second half, but the Giants have two more years invested in him and need more stability in their rotation. In his first two seasons in San Francisco, Samardzija pitched 410 innings and was worth more than five WAR. He’s confident he can get back to that form with an offseason spent aggressively attacking the problems that have plagued his shoulder.
--- The additions of Avelino and Ryder Jones Tuesday brought an end to call-up season. Derek Law was a bit of a surprise omission given his past history, but Bruce Bochy said Law has a high-ankle sprain.
Jones returned to the big leagues and singled up the middle in his first at-bat back. The Giants hope to give him a few starts at first base this month.
--- Gorkys Hernandez hit homer No. 15 in a 6-2 loss, tying him with Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria for the team lead. If you had told the Giants last December that they would get 15 homers from Hernandez, they probably would have assumed they would be in the playoff race. Oh well.Seven of Hernandez's homers have come against the Rockies.