Programming note: Cubs-Giants coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm with Giants Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Few remember that Brandon Crawford strained his oblique during the 2013 season. The injury occurred during the final game of the year and nagged Crawford for more than a month as the offseason began.
This time around, he said, the oblique injury is nowhere near as debilitating. Crawford still feels tightness in his left oblique and he'll miss at least two games, but the Giants are hopeful that he can avoid the DL and possibly return as soon as Friday.
"It feels pretty mild," Crawford said. "I've strained my oblique before in 2013 and this didn't feel like that. This one is a little more mild."
Crawford hasn't gone for an MRI or any other tests, but he will see a team doctor before tonight's game. While Crawford won't play again in this series, reinforcements are on the way. Angel Pagan will get four more rehab at-bats tonight and then rejoin the club Thursday. Bochy said Pagan was running well last night during a rehab game for the Sacramento River Cats, but he wouldn't say if Pagan will return as a full-time starter.
"We'll see where we're at," Bochy said. "We'll try to keep them all involved. With Angel, we'll see how his knees are doing."
The Giants are talking about roster moves now, and they have some interesting decisions to make. Juan Perez would be the obvious choice to go when Pagan returns, but Perez took grounders at second base this afternoon and he's the backup option while Crawford heals. The Giants also could soon need to make a pitching move. Bochy said both Tims will be ready to return Sept. 1 and hinted that one could join the team before then. The staff has not decided if Matt Cain will make his next start, and it sounds like Tim Hudson is being looked at closely for that spot.
--- Joe Panik took grounders today and continues to make progress. It'll be a slow go here, but at least he hasn't had any setbacks. Panik also took 25 swings off a tee yesterday.
--- Bochy said there is no scheduled minor league start for Chris Heston. If he doesn't return to take Cain's spot, Heston could join the Giants next week in Los Angeles once rosters have expanded.
--- Crawford has kept his sense of humor through this latest injury. Asked if he's talked to Hunter Pence about oblique strains, the shortstop smiled.
"He couldn't avoid (a strain)," Crawford pointed out. "He would be the last guy to talk to right now."