UPDATE 12:10 p.m.: Manager Bruce Bochy has had to ham-and-egg some interesting lineups with so many players on the disabled list. Sunday’s lineup in the series finale against the Diamondbacks jerseys is, um, wow.
Keep in mind that Denard Span is not available with a neck injury. He had an MRI on Sunday morning and the disabled list cannot be ruled out.
Manager Bruce Bochy said Angel Pagan needed a day off due to general soreness. Also, Bochy wanted Buster Posey to play first base because he is going to catch a lot during the final week before the break.
Bochy originally wrote a lineup with Gregor Blanco leading off wholesale jerseys and playing center field. Bochy considered, then discounted, the idea of Brandon Belt playing left field because Belt has played one inning there this year. Then, 45 minutes before the first pitch, a new lineup emerged with Belt in left, Blanco scratched with a sore left knee and Jarrett Parker in center for the first time this year.
The lineup against Robbie Ray jerseys:
The bigger issue at the moment is not the lineup, but the bullpen, which helped blow a 5-1 lead Saturday night and another 5-1 lead the last time Albert Suarez pitched, in that crazy 13-11 loss to the A’s on Tuesday.
“We’re dong a good job scoring runs,” Bochy said. “We’ve got to hold these late leads.”
The fans might say, “Go out and get relief help,” and general manager Bobby Evans certainly is but the arms in the ‘pen now are capable of being better.
The left-hand side of the bullpen is interesting. Bochy has gone to Josh Osich more that Javier Lopez of late. Lopez has not had a typical season allowing left-handed hitters a .278 batting average and .826 OPS. Compare those to his career numbers of .205 and .577.
Bochy scrunches his brow at the notion that Lopez has fallen behind Osich on the pecking order.
“Both of them I’m confident in bringing in against lefties,” Bochy said. “Why wouldn’t I be? One is a power guy. One’s a situational guy.”
Saturday night seemed like a Lopez situation, but with a runner on second, one out in the eighth, the Giants leading 5-3 and Jake Lamb due up, Bochy summoned Osich. That was tactical.
Bochy is more apt to use Osich than Lopez against right-handers, so Bochy was covering the possibility that the Diamondbacks would pinch-hit one of their righties on the bench capable of hitting a two-run homer. The plan backfired when Osich walked Lamb, putting two guys on for Welington Castillo jerseys.
With Cory Gearrin unavailable after pitching seven times in 11 days, Bochy brought in Hunter Strickland, Castillo took him deep and the Diamondbacks won 6-5.
It will be interesting to see how Bochy redoes the bullpen roles when Sergio Romo comes off the disabled list after nearly three months away, probably Monday.
ORIGINAL POST: The Giants are preparing to welcome back several injured players, but their return will challenge the front office because some of the depth that has helped the club fill gaps could disappear.
Sergio Romo’s impending return should be easy to handle on the 25-man roster. The Giants could option Albert Suarez to Triple-A after Sunday’s start. He has been a crucial contributor, but the Giants plan to skip his next turn Saturday and he will not be available out of the bullpen for several days.
If so, by rule they could bring him back as soon as the July 15 second-half opener in San Diego.
But the Giants will need to create a 40-man spot for Romo, who did not count against that roster because he is on the 60-day disabled list.
Soon thereafter, infielders will start returning, Joe Panik as soon as his concussion symptoms allow him to play; Kelby Tomlinson jerseys, who went 2-for-4 in a rehab game with Class A San Jose on Saturday and could be back before the break; and Matt Duffy jerseys, sometime shortly after the All-Star break.
Also, Matt Cain should be back just after the All-Star Game.
General manager Bobby Evans will have a lot to juggle because Conor Gillaspie, Grant Green, Ramiro Peña and Ruben Tejada all have exhausted their minor-league options.
The Giants would have to run these four through waivers. The way some have played, they could get plucked by other teams. Even if they clear waivers, these four have the right to choose free agency rather than return to Sacramento.
Some pure speculation: Tejada could be the first to be designated for assignment because already this season he has cleared waivers twice, with the cheap Mets jerseys and Cardinals. He is the least likely to be claimed.
Journeymen such as these often clear waivers because other teams value their 40-man spots and prefer to provide opportunities to their own prospects first. Also, players often accept outright assignments because they like the organization do not want to forfeit their contracts.