San Francisco Giants Madison Bumgarner warms up prior to a spring training baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Wednesday, March 15, 2017, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
DENVER — Madison Bumgarner did not to wish to postpone his simulated game until Sunday, but the Rockies wouldn’t make Coors Field available early until then. So the plan changed.
Bumgarner left for the minor league complex in Arizona where he’ll face prospects on Saturday. He’s expected to throw 30 pitches or so.
Jarrett Parker (fractured collarbone) was supposed to stand in against Bumgarner, but he’ll remain with the Giants in Denver this weekend as he continues to gear up for a minor league rehab assignment.
Many Giants draftees are in camp right now getting their physicals out of the way. I have to think running into Bumgarner would be a neat way to begin their pro careers.
No, the Giants still have no word on Hunter Strickland’s appeal, and they are not happy about it. Major League Baseball officials offered no light on the timing or the holdup, saying Executive Vice President John McHale Jr. would rule when he rules.
But with Strickland having thrown on three consecutive days, he wouldn’t be used Friday anyway except in an emergency. So even though it’s unfair that MLB has dragged this out, the best and most unselfish thing Strickland could do for his team would be to drop his appeal and begin serving his suspension Friday.
By all accounts, Strickland was hoping to get one game lopped off his six-game suspension for hitting Bryce Harper with a pitch. Since he can’t pitch Friday anyway, what good would it do at this point? Might as well start serving it now and stop complicating the team’s reliever usage and roster plans.
In the meantime, Conor Gillaspie is unfairly caught in this limbo. He’s ready to return from his minor league rehab assignment, but the Giants cannot swap out a pitcher for a position player while Strickland’s suspension looms. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he spoke to Gillaspie, who understood the situation.
The Giants also scratched Triple-A Sacramento right-hander Joan Gregorio moments before the first pitch of Thursday night’s game at Las Vegas out of an abundance of caution. Matt Moore was getting hammered early at Coors Field and the Giants weren’t sure whether they would need innings coverage either because they would chew through relievers Thursday or Strickland would be suspended. They were able to avoid making a roster move with Gregorio, but the River Cats had to start a reliever and got waxed 12-4.
This Strickland suspension just keeps having a ripple effect throughout the organization, and none of it is good.
Neat note about Austin Slater, whose average stood at .405 after a 4-for-5 night Thursday: He’s the first Giants rookie to hit .400 in his first 10 big league games since Pablo Sandoval (.417) in 2008.
The Giants are 16 ½ games behind the Rockies, which is their biggest deficit prior to the All-Star break since the 1985 team that went on to lose 100 games.
They’ll try to inch a bit closer behind Jeff Samardzija, who is 2-1 with a 3.63 ERA in seven career games at Coors Field.