SAN FRANCISCO -- Another day of rehab activity brought another round of updates, and some real optimism.
Matt Cain threw 72 pitches during a simulated game and barring a setback he could return to the rotation as soon as Monday. The Giants haven't made that decision yet, but they could slide Cain (hamstring strain) back into the rotation without a rehab start and bump Albert Suarez to a bullpen that could use a hot arm. Asked how he felt, Cain smiled.
"I felt like I felt," he said. The dry sense of humor is at 100 percent, at least.
After Cain threw to Conor Gillaspie and third base coach Roberto Kelly (yes, you read that correctly), Angel Pagan ran in front of trainers. Pagan appeared to be moving at nearly full speed, and manager Bochy said Pagan had a good day.
"He's really getting close to starting a rehab assignment," Bochy said. "That could be as early as this weekend."
The Giants originally planned to be without Pagan this entire homestand, but he's made good progress in his own recovery from a hamstring strain.
--- Buster Posey, as expected, gets a second straight night off to rest his thumb. Posey had caught Madison Bumgarner's previous 45 starts, the longest streak in baseball. The last player other than Posey to catch Bumgarner was Andrew Susac on Sept. 17, 2014. This time it'll be rookie Trevor Brown.
--- The Giants face a lefty each of the next three nights: David Price, Clayton Kershaw and Scott Kazmir. The best matchup might come when Price faces tonight's No. 9 hitter. He might be Bumgarner's biggest fan in MLB.