SAN FRANCISCO -- As they prepare for what should be the most important Bay Bridge Series in years, the Giants are currently lined up to go with TBD, TBD, TBD. Well, kind of.
Madison Bumgarner will start either Friday or Saturday at AT&T Park. After that, it's to be determined by usage the next two days. With the break coming up and plenty of starting depth, the staff has Dereck Rodriguez, Jeff Samardzija and Andrew Suarez available out of the bullpen before the weekend.
"The next day or two, we could use anybody as far as a starter," manager Bruce Bochy said. "It's all hands on deck because we've got some guys that need a break in the bullpen."
Bochy wouldn't commit to anyone besides Bumgarner making a start this weekend, although Suarez seems lined up for the final first-half game. The Giants could have optioned the rookie back to Triple-A after Monday's game and brought him up in a few days for his first second half assignment, but Suarez is throwing as well as anyone and is in the mix to make a second start this week despite the staff watching his innings.
All of this came about after Bochy let slip Monday night that Johnny Cueto would not start Tuesday's game. That apparently has been the plan all along, with Cueto getting an extra day of rest, but the Giants did not reveal it until a few hours before the second game with the Cubs. Derek Holland will make a spot start and Bochy said that could be something that happens often in the second half, with Cueto potentially getting an extra day of rest between many of his starts as he tries to overcome an elbow sprain.
--- Joe Panik is expected to miss about three weeks with his groin strain, team officials said. Alen Hanson will get most of the time at second base, although Hanson was off Tuesday because the Giants were facing a lefty and he has struggled against left-handed pitchers this season.
--- Hunter Strickland had the pins removed from his fractured finger in the morning and now can ramp up strengthening exercises. Strickland is not eligible to return until August 18 because the Giants placed him on the 60-day disabled list. He likely will be ready about a week before that but will get extra time in the minors.
--- Evan Longoria has graduated to taking grounders. He is expected back the first week of August.
--- Renel Brooks-Moon will be the emcee for the mayor's inauguration on Wednesday, so our very own Tim Flannery will serve as the PA announcer for the final game of this series with the Cubs.