Programming note: Rockies-Giants coverage starts tonight at 6:30 p.m. with Giants Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
SAN FRANCISCO -- Santiago Casilla was so impressive in his rehab inning for Single-A San Jose Thursday night that it’s possible the Giants might forgo a second appearance and activate him this weekend.
“Possible,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, with emphasis. “That’s what we’re talking about right now.”
Whether Casilla appears again for San Jose on Saturday or not, Bochy said the right-hander would travel with the club to Chicago and be ready to rejoin the roster on Tuesday.
In the meantime, the Giants have little reason to push Casilla. Right-hander Jean Machi has the longest scoreless innings streak in the majors, at 23 innings, and the longest by a Giants reliever since Jeremy Affeldt in 2009. And right-hander Juan Gutierrez remains unscored upon in 14.2 innings spanning 15 appearances at AT&T Park this season.
The Giants have Brandon Crawford getting a much-needed rest as they open their series with the beat up Colorado Rockies, who are missing Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer. (There’s absolutely no reason to pitch to Troy Tulowitzki, is there?)
The Rockies have plummeted in the standings while dealing with their injuries, but it’s not as if the Giants have been the picture of health, either. They haven’t really seemed to miss first baseman Brandon Belt (fractured left thumb) until perhaps the last week or so, now that they’ve gone six consecutive games without hitting a home run.
Belt continues to make progress, though. He began taking dry swings on Friday and continues to take grounders. It’ll be another week before he can try to pick up a baseball. And of course, he’ll need a battery of at-bats in the minor leagues before he’s activated.
I asked Bochy if he thought about giving Michael Morse a day off since he has Buster Posey playing first base. But Bochy said no, with days off Monday and Thursday next week, he believes Morse will get plenty of rest soon. Plus he’ll have the DH to use against the White Sox Tuesday and Wednesday. He’s leaning toward DHing Morse in one game and Posey in the other.
The Giants were 2-9 in AL parks last year, mostly because the DH was no help to them and they averaged barely two runs a game. They should have better coverage this time.
In minor league news, the Giants are crossing their fingers as right-hander Derek Law gets an MRI and an examination from Dr. Ken Akizuki in Scottsdale a week after walking off the mound with a forearm injury. As for last year’s first-round pick, high school shortstop Christian Arroyo, he really struggled at Low-A Augusta (.203/.226/.271) before spraining his thumb a month ago. He’s back to playing again, but at short-season Salem-Keizer as the Northwest League opens Friday night.