SAN FRANCISCO -- The hottest team in baseball was a busy team before Friday's home game against the Phillies. On just about every patch of the field, there was a rehabbing player taking a step forward.
We'll start with a guy who used to close. Sergio Romo went back-to-back days for the River Cats and felt fine, per manager Bruce Bochy. He's back here to meet with trainer Dave Groeschner, and the Giants will decide whether Romo makes another rehab appearance on Saturday or on Sunday. Either way, he'll pitch for the San Jose Giants, who visit Stockton this weekend. The River Cats are on the road.
Matt Cain threw a very light 20-pitch bullpen session before BP on Friday and will throw another one on Sunday. After that, the Giants will decide whether Cain should face hitters in a live BP session or head out for a rehab start. They're going to be cautious this time, after Cain re-injured his hamstring in his return.
Cain could end up with a familiar face behind him during a rehab start. Kelby Tomlinson has started taking grounders and he said he's a day or two from swinging off a tee. He's about 7-10 days from a rehab assignment. Ehire Adrianza also took grounders Friday and he was finally cleared to run for the first time (on a treadmill). The healing has been slow, and Bochy said Adrianza is still about a month away from being available to the big league team.
Finally, there's Hunter Pence -- who naturally is catching up quickly to some of the other DL dudes. Pence was out again for agility work and long toss, and there's real optimism that he'll beat the eight-week target by a healthy margin.
--- Tommy Joseph isn't in the Phillies lineup tonight, but we'll see him this weekend. Joseph is hitting just .229 in his first big league run, but he has eight homers and a .477 slugging percentage in 109 at-bats. The power is still there, and it's a trait that had some Giants coaches comparing him to Paul Konerko when he was a catcher in the system. Joseph, of course, was traded for Pence. He's finally up here after years dealing with injuries.
"I'm happy for Tommy with all he's been through," Bochy said. "He was a great kid here. We didn't have him up (in the big leagues) but he allowed us to get a really nice player ... I couldn't be happier for him."
In my first spring covering the team, I wrote a long feature about the group of young catchers in camp that Bochy called the best he had seen. It included Joseph, Andrew Susac and Hector Sanchez. Susac has had his own injury issues that have kept him from fulfilling that promise, and Sanchez never developed as a big league hitter and is now bouncing around. Trevor Brown, meanwhile, came out of nowhere, and he looks like he might be Posey's backup for a while. Baseball is a funny game.
--- Posey is just getting a day off. He'll catch the next two games.
--- If you missed it, here's my podcast with Tim Lincecum, taped over the weekend in Oakland. Also, here's the main iTunes page for our Giants podcast. Thank you to all the people who have listened, downloaded, rated it, etc. Subscribe if you haven't. Many, many more are on the way.