LOS ANGELES -- The Giants should be closer to a #FullSquad next week. They're hoping it's not too late.
Second baseman Joe Panik will start a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento on Thursday and is expected to be activated for Monday's opener in Phoenix, assuming he has no setbacks with his tight back.
Shortstop Brandon Crawford (calf contusion) is available as a pinch-hitter tonight and said he feels much better than he did when he missed Tuesday's game. Crawford came out to play catch but the tightness in his calf doesn't allow him to "make some of the movements I need to play shortstop."
Matt Cain is also on the comeback trail. He'll throw two innings for the River Cats on Friday. That's the Cain/Chris Heston day in the big leagues, and manager Bruce Bochy said the starter at Coors Field is still "TBA."
"We have some options there," Bochy said. "We'll see how it goes tonight."
--- Tim Lincecum flew to Colorado a day early to see a hip specialist. The staff will meet with Lincecum on Thursday and decide on the next step. It sounds like surgery is becoming more of a consideration.
--- The Giants called up Nick Noonan as their backup shortstop, and they were flexible with two veterans who were told they wouldn't be September additions. Joaquin Arias was allowed to end his Triple-A season early and fly home to spend time with his family. Everth Cabrera was given his release today.
The Giants could have used Arias for just one night. He always has had some success against Clayton Kershaw. Bochy chose Ehire Adrianza over Noonan.
"That's a pretty tough start for a lefty," he said of Noonan. "The one thing about Nick, you look at his numbers against lefties in Triple-A and that wasn't his strength."
Noonan had a .524 OPS against lefties in the minors this season.