PEORIA, Ariz. — Jeff Samardzija didn’t worry much about giving up seven earned runs on a day when just about anything that got in the air seemed to fly out of Peoria Sports Complex.
“I’m out here just getting work in,” Samardzija said. “You want to get your pitch count up, and we’re definitely there. You get your work in and stay healthy.”
Samardzija joked about leading the team in spring innings, and he hasn’t had much competition. The rotation has dealt with injury scares, but manager Bruce Bochy said his guys are getting healthier.
Madison Bumgarner missed his last start with a neuroma in his left foot and irritation in his rib cage, but Bochy hasn’t ruled him out of Saturday’s game. It’s possible Bumgarner returns after missing just one turn. Johnny Cueto passed every concussion test he was given and took part in Wednesday’s workout. Matt Cain will make his spring debut on Friday.
While the Giants are running out of days to get pitch counts up, Bochy thinks his rotation will be fine.
“All these guys we think we’ll have ready,” he said. “But at the same time, that margin of error is getting cut back.”
Samardzija is so far ahead of others that he’ll soon scale back. He was in the 70-pitch range and said he’ll have one more long start before tapering. He gave up eight hits and three homers in four innings against the Mariners, but none of the balls would have gotten out of AT&T Park. Samardzija said the most important thing is how he’s rebounding physically after every spring start.
“I feel great,” he said.
HEALTH UPDATES: The outfield isn’t quite as healthy. Denard Span has a sore shoulder after a diving attempt in center. Here’s the update on Johnny Cueto from this morning. All is good. All is good with Sergio Romo, too. He struck out one in a scoreless inning, his first of the spring.
“He looked good, didn’t he?” Bochy said. “That was a good inning of work.”
NOTEWORTHY: Angel Pagan reached base four times and drove in three runs. If you're out there on Twitter lobbying for a change in left -- and many of you are, I see you -- you're wasting your time and energy. Pagan looks 100 percent healthy ... Brandon Crawford, Hunter Pence and Trevor Brown had multi-hit days. Brown is up to .412 for the spring, and he's making a push to be kept as a third catcher ... Nori Aoki led off for the Mariners.
QUOTABLE: “I have guys who I played in college with, who we go and we tailgate for Northwestern football games, and they’re like, ‘What do you got on the Cubs? They’re going to be so great.’ I’m like, that’s great, I’m glad that they’re doing all that stuff. It’s a lot of hype. It’s a lot of excitement for the city. So until we roll into town and we have to play them, I hope nothing but the best for them. It’s great for the city, it’s great for the fans of Chicago that they finally have a team in the Cubs that you can root for, and they have a good chance of putting together something special. But the bottom line is now, we’re here to win. The allegiances stop once we roll into Chicago. Even my brother, my brother is still a Cubs fan and he’s just like, ‘The Cubs are going to be good!’ I was like, yeah, we’re going to be better. We’re going to do it.” — Chicago native George Kontos, talking about the Cubs-Giants potential on my podcast. You can listen to it online here or download it on iTunes here.