SAN FRANCISCO – Marco Scutaro’s bat control has few peers in the major leagues. The Giants are about to find out if Scutaro can maintain that bat control with nine fingers instead of 10.
Scutaro was in the lineup on a tentative basis Tuesday, and after a satisfactory round of batting practice, Giants manager Bruce Bochy decided to keep him in there.
“He feels pretty good and wants to go, so we’ll take a look at it,” Bochy said. “It is different at game speed. We’ll see how he handles it. Really, it’s up to him how well he can tolerate it.”
Scutaro hasn’t played since he was hit by a pitch last Tuesday at Pittsburgh and sustained tendon damage to the last knuckle on his left pinky finger. He must wear a splint to keep the finger from bending, or it likely will stay that way permanently.
Because Scutaro grips the bat with the pinky resting on the knob, he said he doesn’t expect it to affect his swing. But he has looked tentative in earlier rounds of batting practice.
Scutaro is at second base and hitting in his familiar No.2 hole.
In other news, Angel Pagan (hamstring) ran the bases and is expected to begin a rehab assignment, likely with Single-A San Jose, in the next few days. Pagan is expected to get 10 to 15 at-bats with the expectation that he’ll be activated by the weekend, Bochy said.
Pablo Sandoval (strained foot) did another day of full baseball work and he’ll be activated when eligible Monday at Dodger Stadium. Sandoval will DH for San Jose on Friday, Bochy said.
Ryan Vogelsong is hoping for a clearer time frame for a return, too. He had X-rays taken on his fractured right pinky finger and he was due to see the hand specialist later Tuesday. He expected to get at least two of the five pins taken out of his finger, and perhaps all of them.
Bochy still can’t believe he screwed up that double switch last night with Buster Posey. He was arguing the call on a ball down the line with the umpire while telling him where Posey would hit in the lineup. He realized as soon as he said it that he screwed up, but this isn’t the National Spelling Bee. You can’t stop yourself and start over.
“At least I didn’t have the pitcher leading off,” Bochy said.
The Giants have signed all four of their top draft picks and nine of their first 11. Only RHP Daniel Slania (5th round) and RHP Nick Vander Tuig (6th round) haven’t signed yet. Vander Tuig’s UCLA Bruins are busy with the College World Series at the moment.
Two local high school kids – catcher John Riley from Willow Glen High in San Jose and right-hander Grant Goodman from Burlingame High – haven’t signed as of yet, and might go to college instead. Riley, who was coached by Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti’s brother, Steve, at Willow Glen, is committed to Cal. Goodman is committed to USF.
The Giants did sign two others with local ties, in addition to fourth-round pick Brian Ragira from Stanford. Eugene Escalante, a catcher taken in the 15th round from Mt. Olive College in North Carolina, is a former Cal State Fullerton kid who graduated from Rodriguez High in Fairfield. And Craig Massoni, a first baseman from Austin Peay State. University in Tennessee, is a graduate of San Ramon Valley High in Danville and played at Chabot College.