Programming note: Nationals-Giants coverage starts tonight at 6:30 p.m. with Giants Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (Channel Locations)
SAN FRANCISCO – The Giants are without their leadoff hitter for the opener of what might be a playoff-preview series with the Washington Nationals.
But Angel Pagan is just getting one more day to rest and treat his shin contusion, which he sustained while sliding into the plate with the tying run in the ninth inning Saturday.
Pagan stretched with the team, took batting practice and is available off the bench, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. Gregor Blanco, who drove in three on Sunday, is back atop the lineup Tuesday against Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg.
There are plenty of notable names in the visiting dugout, including manager Matt Williams. It’s Williams’ managerial debut in San Francisco, where he was a four-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glove winner and 1994 MVP runner-up during his 10 seasons as a Giant.
Former managing partner Peter Magowan stopped by the ballpark because he wanted to say hello to Williams and wish him luck – after this four-game series, of course.
Another popular former Giant by way of Bellarmine Prep and San Jose State, Kevin Frandsen, is in the Nats lineup.
Pregame news was light but Santiago Casilla threw off a bullpen mound again and will take pitching fielding practice on Tuesday. Brandon Belt, who still has a soft cast on his left thumb, is taking ground balls (but not throwing) and will participate in the PFP with Casilla.
Casilla is expected to start a rehab assignment with Single-A San Jose on Thursday and perhaps a day earlier, Bochy said.
One other minor league note: right-hander Derek Law, who was so impressive in the Arizona Fall League and nearly made the Giants’ opening day roster, walked off the mound holding his arm Sunday for Double-A Richmond.
The Giants believe it’s a muscular strain in his forearm but they anticipated that Law would have a precautionary MRI exam. Law was 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA and 13 saves in 27 appearances. He has struck out 29 and walked 14 in 28 innings while holding opponents to a .198 average.