SCOTTSDALE -- Just before lunchtime on Saturday, Matt Cain stopped with the beat writers to provide an update on the removal of a cyst in his arm. We'll spare you the details, and instead lead with the good news Cain passed along. Like manager Bruce Bochy, Cain is confident that the 10-day rest period won't keep him from being part of the rotation when the season starts the first week of April.
"That's the reason we (did the surgery) pretty quickly," Cain said. "Our biggest goal is to be ready for when the season starts, but also to make sure this doesn't come up again. It's not the easiest thing to go through. I was just excited about getting to see hitters again, but the day before that was going to happen this came down. There's not much you can do about it."
Cain was upbeat, even joking about a massive contraption on his right arm that's meant to keep it immobile and let the incision heal. "It looks worse than it is," he said, when reporters looked at the sling.
Cain said there are workouts and drills he can do during this 10-day non-throwing period to keep his elbow and shoulder in shape. He felt great the first week of camp and coaches believed he was ahead of the game because of bullpen sessions thrown prior to reporting day. The Giants are still planning on having Cain in the fold the first week of the season, and he seems a likely choice for the home opener on April 7 against the Dodgers.
The cyst was a couple of inches above Cain's right elbow, and he said he's not sure how it came to be. He had a similar cyst removed in early November and this one flared up in January. The training staff monitored it and massaged the area to see if it would go away, and Cain didn't feel any pain while throwing.
But the cyst ruptured, leaking fluid under the skin. Enjoy lunch, everyone!
NOTEWORTHY: Bochy said the Cactus League rotation will go: Jeff Samardzija, Jake Peavy, Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto, in that order. Chris Heston will come on in relief of one of the first two pitchers. No surprise, but it looks like it'll be Cueto directly behind Bumgarner when the season starts, with Cain slipping in somewhere behind Samardzija.
HEALTH UPDATES: Hunter Pence missed most of the workout with a minor issue, and he'll be in the trainer's room tomorrow, too. Gregor Blanco has flu-like symptoms and was sent home.
BIRTHDAY GIFT: What did Denard Span get for his 32nd birthday? A date with Bumgarner during a live BP session. Span actually fared pretty well, getting a couple of balls into the air against Bumgarner, who has taken his regular season intensity into these sessions. Giants players continue to rave about Span, by the way, and it's easy to see why. Few players have a better reputation around the game, and today Span made a point of stopping in the dugout and shaking hands with and introducing himself to the very young minor leaguers who were driven over to shag fly balls.
Wanna say thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes! Been one of my best bdays.— Denard Span (@thisisdspan) February 27, 2016
SOCIAL MEDIA CORNER: Can I interest you in video of Buster Posey hitting his first homer of the spring? Thought so. Clayton Blackburn's tweet about it was just as solid.
QUOTABLE: "I got my vision and dental checked today. They both suck." -- Peavy, as he walked through the clubhouse in the morning. The veteran has notoriously bad eyesight, but it turns out he also needs a root canal.