SAN FRANCISCO -- Nori Aoki is on his way to San Francisco, and he has perfect timing. The Milwaukee Brewers, Aoki's first MLB team, are coming into town, and the left fielder should be in the lineup on Monday night. Aoki will be checked by team trainers and doctors later today, but the reports were good after he played for the Sacramento River Cats on Saturday. Manager Bruce Bochy said Aoki is running well.
So, where does Aoki hit when he returns? The odds are good that he goes right back to the leadoff spot, but Bochy wouldn't fully commit to that Sunday morning, saying he first wants to talk to his players. Assuming Aoki hits leadoff, the Giants will have five guys at the top of their order hitting .300 or right below. Not bad.
Some other quick notes on a quiet Sunday ...
--- The big news today: Johnny Cueto is a Royal, in exchange for three left-handed pitchers. That's a huge move for the Royals, obviously, and it kind of shows you where the market is right now for rental aces. The Royals traded Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb and Cody Reed for Cueto, with Finnegan -- a reliever in the postseason last year -- headlining the deal. Do the Giants have a Finnegan? Yeah, Tyler Beede probably gives them a similar chip, although he didn't help Brian Sabean, Bobby Evans and co. on Sunday, giving up five earned runs in one-third of an inning to raise his Double-A ERA to 4.95.
[RELATED: Royals acquire ace Johnny Cueto from Reds]
Lamb, 25, is a former top 20 prospect who had arm problems but now is 9-1 with a 2.67 ERA in Triple-A. Reed is a big 22-year-old lefty with a 2.53 ERA across two levels this season, and again he's a power lefty according to scouts. The industry consensus seems to be that this is a nice haul for the Reds, and you can expect that the Tigers (who need young pitching) would expect maybe a bit more if they are to sell David Price, and the Phillies certainly want more for Cole Hamels.
That just kind of shows where the price is if the Giants are to go for a rotation upgrade, and it'll be hard for the Giants to match up. Regardless, they have said in recent days that they don't want to change the rotation. Tim Hudson has been the weakest link thus far, posting a 4.76 ERA.
"He's had a couple of innings where he's been off and the crooked numbers have gotten to him, but I think at times he has had his good sinker, breaking ball and changeup," Bochy said. "I still like his stuff, I do. He's a great competitor but it's pretty amazing the stuff he has at his age."
Hudson has never beaten the A's, his former team, and he's looking to become the 15th pitcher to defeat all 30 MLB teams. Barry Zito also did it recently.
--- Bochy on Randy Johnson, who got inducted into the Hall of Fame today. "I know (this) was his message to Timmy: Don't be content or satisfied with one Cy Young."
Lincecum, by the way, threw off flat ground again today.
--- Andrew Susac continues to rehab and should be ready when his 15 days on the DL are up.