Tyler Beede

Giants have internally discussed speeding up Johnny Cueto's return


Giants have internally discussed speeding up Johnny Cueto's return

PHOENIX -- The recovery process from Tommy John surgery is long and tedious and unbelievably mapped out on a daily basis, and from the start, Johnny Cueto has targeted Sept. 1 as a potential return date. 

The Giants are still expecting to see Cueto on the mound in the first week of September, but there's another camp forming within the organization, one hoping to operate with a bit more urgency. The Giants originally had Cueto scheduled for two rehab starts with San Jose and two with Sacramento, but they have discussed internally the possibility of having Cueto get up to speed in big league games. 

The thinking here is simple: Cueto is healthy and looks great every time he throws, and even if he's only able to give Bruce Bochy four or five innings, they still likely would be more effective than what young starters have contributed in recent weeks. Those young starters aren't getting deep, either. Bochy said the Giants would continue to discuss it as Cueto works through the rehab process. He'll make his first appearance for San Jose on Thursday. 

"We can reevaluate our thinking with the medical staff and see where we're at with him," Bochy said. "He's pretty close to 100 percent. He doesn't have strength and stamina to go deep into games. But you look at the stuff, it's good. It's really good. He just doesn't have stamina. He's in spring training mode."

A lot of this will depend on what kind of competitive mode the Giants are in. If they find themselves falling out of the wild-card race as Cueto works his way through the California League, it won't make any sense. But if the Giants are still close in a couple of weeks and still having issues with their young starters, the drumbeat to bring Cueto back a start or two early will grow louder.

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--- Speaking of the bullpen, lefty Fernando Abad is the latest to join. The veteran has had a good year in Sacramento and is throwing a ton of strikes. That should make Bochy's life a bit easier. 

The series of transactions sent Williams Jerez and Aramis Garcia back to Sacramento. The Giants also DFA'd Ryan Barraclough, claimed last week. As they did with Ryan Dull, the Giants hoped to get Barraclough into the organization and get him through waivers if they needed a roster spot. We'll see if he does. Dull was claimed by the Yankees.

Tyler Beede's latest poor outing leaves Giants with huge rotation questions

Tyler Beede's latest poor outing leaves Giants with huge rotation questions

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants will visit Chase Field on Thursday for the start of a big four-game series against the Diamondbacks, but the most important pitch for the organization's September and October hopes will be thrown hundreds of miles away. 

Johnny Cueto will start for the San Jose Giants in Visalia, pitching around three innings as he takes the next big step in his rehab process. It is asking a lot of Cueto to view him as a September savior for the rotation, but at this point the Giants appear to have no choice. 

They have leaned heavily on rookies in the second half and that plan is collapsing quickly. Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Samardzija have been great, but as Tyler Beede showed in a 9-5 loss to the A's on Wednesday, the Giants have no idea what they can count on from 60 percent of their rotation. That's not a comfortable feeling in a postseason race. 

"It's a challenge, but hey, I don't mind a challenge," manager Bruce Bochy said. "It's up to me to try to get this figured out. You know when you bring up young pitchers you're going to have some growing pains, and that's the case."

The staff discussed the rotation before the game and planned to again before a flight to Phoenix. For now, the immediate solution is penciling Dereck Rodriguez back in for Thursday's game. The Giants still are TBD for Saturday, although right-hander Logan Webb could take that spot. He has just one appearance above Double-A but was dominant in his Triple-A debut. Beyond that, there are other question marks. Bochy wouldn't commit to Beede making his next start. 

"He's a guy we believe in," Bochy said. "We'll see where we're at five days from now."

This is a situation that has been threatening to boil over for a while. After pulling Derek Holland and Drew Pomeranz from the rotation and trading both, the Giants were left relying on three rookies and one second-year player who has bounced back and forth. It's been an ugly stretch for the youth movement.

Shaun Anderson had a 7.76 ERA over seven starts before a blister landed him on the Injured List. Conner Menez, now back in Triple-A, has allowed 10 earned and walked eight over 12 2/3 innings in three starts. Beede seemed to be turning a corner in July, turning in dominant performances before and after the All-Star break. But he has allowed at least four runs in each of his past five starts and recorded just two outs beyond the fifth inning during that span. 

Command has been the issue, and on Wednesday it was missing from the start. Beede left too many balls up and the A's picked up eight hits off him before he was lifted one batter into the fifth inning. Beede's ERA for the season is up to 5.77. He has limited walks, but he isn't getting into pitcher's counts. 

"I didn't walk anybody today but I look back and the counts got to 1-0, 2-0, 2-1. That gives hitters more confidence," Beede said. "I need to do a better job of locating."

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The road won't get any easier for Beede or any of the other young pitchers. It's four in Phoenix, followed by three in Chicago and two in Oakland. The Giants have Cueto on the way back, but he's not expected to be ready until the first week of September. For better or worse, they'll go as far as the young pitchers take them. 

"We have to use who we have here," Bochy said. 

A's vs. Giants lineups: Homer Bailey, Tyler Beede take mound at Oracle

A's vs. Giants lineups: Homer Bailey, Tyler Beede take mound at Oracle

Game 2 of the Bay Bridge Series could see an offensive outburst Wednesday at Oracle Park in San Francisco as struggling right-handers Homer Bailey and Tyler Beede take the mound for their respective clubs.

Bailey has an 8.17 ERA over five starts since the A's acquired him in a trade with the Royals. Much of the veteran's struggles have come on the road, too. 

Since joining the A's, Bailey has allowed 16 earned runs in two road starts while tossing just 6 2/3 innings. At home, he's allowed only seven earned runs through 18 2/3 innings. 

On the other side of the Bay, Beede has been struggling just as much. After four straight solid starts, Beede has fallen apart his past four outings. The 26-year-old has allowed at least four earned runs in each of his past four starts. 

Beede is 3-6 with a 5.61 ERA on the year in 16 appearances -- 14 starts. 

A's manager Bob Melvin is inserting a new name into the lineup. Second baseman Corban Joseph is making his A's debut. He hit .371 with 13 homers and a 1.006 OPS in Triple-A Las Vegas. 

The Giants are going lefty-heavy against Bailey with Brandon Belt, Mike Yastrzemski, Stephen Vogt, Scooter Gennett and Brandon Crawford all in the lineup.

Here are the full lineups for the A's-Giants game, which will be broadcast on NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports California and the MyTeams app. Coverage begins at 11:30 a.m. PT, with first pitch at 12:45 p.m.

Oakland A's (67-52)
Marcus Semien, SS
Robbie Grossman, LF
Matt Chapman, 3B
Matt Olson, 1B
Mark Canha, CF
Chad Pinder, 2B
Stephen Piscotty, RF
Corban Joseph, 2B
Chris Herrmann, C
Homer Bailey, RHP (9-8, 5.54 ERA)

San Francisco Giants (60-60)
Brandon Belt, 1B
Mike Yastrzemski, LF
Evan Longoria, 3B
Stephen Vogt, C
Scooter Gennett, 2B
Kevin Pillar, CF
Brandon Crawford, SS
Austin Slater
Tyler Beede, RHP (3-6, 5.61 ERA)