SAN FRANCISCO – The Giants already have 11 relievers in an overstuffed bullpen, but two more made bids to be activated soon.
Jeremy Affeldt and Chad Gaudin alternated innings in a simulated game Monday, and both impressed Giants manager Bruce Bochy.
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“Chad was ahead of where I thought he’d be,” Bochy said of Gaudin, who has been on the disabled list with carpal tunnel syndrome since Aug. 20. “We’ll get with the trainers and see what we’ll do with both of them.”
Both Affeldt and Gaudin threw two innings. It was the first simulated session for Gaudin but the third for Affeldt, who has been on the DL since July 21 with a left groin strain. The left-hander said trainers felt he was a little timid in his first two sessions, which is why they asked him to throw to hitters one more time.
Affeldt told me his alignment was the best it’s been all year. He had been leaking and not finishing his pitches because he was worried about the groin, which he tried to pitch through for a few weeks before tweaking it on the mound in his last appearance.
Financially, it’s more important for Gaudin that he pitch again this season than it is for Affeldt, who is under contract for the next two seasons. Gaudin will be a free agent.
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Bochy at first said he wouldn’t use Gaudin as a starter, then backed off.
“Well, it’s a possibility,” said Bochy, who once again discussed giving extra rest to the rotation down the stretch.
The Giants don’t plan to shut down Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner or Tim Lincecum, but they might go to a six, seven or even eight-man rotation to give everyone extra days between starts. Guillermo Moscoso and Barry Zito are other candidates to take a start; there’s a good chance Zito will get at least one more start on the last homestand.
“They all want to pitch,” Bochy said. “They’re not backing off. That’s what you want to see.”