DENVER — On the day Bruce Bochy got his No. 3 hitter back, he’s without his No. 2 hitter. Bochy said Joe Panik “banged his hip up pretty good diving for a ball” on Wednesday and needs a day off.
Panik, who didn’t get to a couple of balls he normally would, should be back in the lineup Friday. Bochy had planned to give several regulars a day off on this trip anyway.
The Giants entered the season as one of just three teams without a player on the DL, but they’ve been flirting with the disabled list on this trip. Sergio Romo is back in San Francisco to get tests on a tender right elbow, and Bochy said he would have an update after the game. The Giants don’t anticipate a major injury, and they won’t make a move for now. Bochy said that they’ll call up another pitcher only if Romo needs to miss at least five or six days.
The Giants have coverage in their bullpen, with seven healthy pitchers remaining. Cory Gearrin slides into the Romo role and he has been told to prepare for seventh- or eighth-inning duty. Bochy also said long reliever Chris Heston could start going on back-to-back days.
“He’s anxious to do it and see how he feels,” Bochy said.
The Giants don’t plan on cutting their staff any time soon. They don’t have another day off until April 28, and even that one is a travel day to New York.
“I don’t see us changing back (to 12),” for now, Bochy said. “We’ll be like this for a while, I think.”
The belief in a 13-man staff has been bolstered by the fact that Bochy hasn’t had to pinch-hit often. He is only hitting for the pitcher’s spot, and he doesn’t mind burning a Gregor Blanco or Kelby Tomlinson in the middle innings, knowing he still has enough left on the bench. So far, it’s worked out.
--- We're trying something new this season and posting notes in the mornings, since apparently that's when most of you work. Today's notebook is on Trevor Brown.