SAN FRANCISCO -- Hector Sanchez will head to Triple-A Fresno starting Thursday for a rehab assignment and expects to play six games for the Grizzlies before returning Aug. 2 when he is eligible to be activated from the disabled list, he said before Wednesday's game against the Padres.
Sanchez said that the training staff has planned for him to catch five innings in Fresno's game on Thursday and that he will also be playing first base during the rehab assignment. The Giants' backup catcher has been sidelined since July 17 with a sprained knee.
"I'm not sure what the game plan will be exactly, but I feel good, I don't have any problems right now," Sanchez said.
Sanchez has been performing regular baseball activities recently, including catching Barry Zito's bullpen session before Wednesday's game.
"We put him through a lot today with catching and running the bases and taking some ground balls," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's ready to go, and we thought he'd be ready once his time was up."
Giants hoping treatment can keep Sandoval off DL
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants have deferred a decision regarding Pablo Sandoval's immediate future until Friday, hoping that two days of intensive treatment can heal the third baseman's strained left hamstring enough to help him avoid the disabled list.
Thursday's scheduled off-day prolongs the Giants' evaluation period for Sandoval, who hurt himself Tuesday night while stretching for a throw as he played first base. Sandoval underwent an MRI Wednesday that confirmed his injury.
Sandoval admitted, "I'm just trying to hang in there," adding that his hamstring was "still a little sore." But he estimated his chances of missing only a few games and skirting the DL as "100 percent."Nevertheless, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, "You do have to be careful with these hamstrings. You don't want any setbacks, obviously. At the same time, if he makes a lot of improvement over the next two days and looks like he could be a week, then we could keep him off the DL possibly. But that call will made Friday."
Sandoval's batting .299 with eight home runs and 33 RBIs in 62 games. The two-time All-Star missed 35 games earlier this season with a fractured left hamate bone and the subsequent surgery.
Bochy acknowledged the impact of Sandoval's absence. "We're more of a speed-type club that finds a way to scratch and claw for runs. Still, you need somebody to drive them in," Bochy said.
Giants react to Dodgers deal for Hanley
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants' reaction to the Los Angeles Dodgers' acquisition of third baseman Hanley Ramirez was polite but muted Wednesday."He's a good player," manager Bruce Bochy said of the maneuvering by the Dodgers, who entered Wednesday trailing first-place San Francisco by 2 1/2 games in the National League West. "But we can't be concerned with what's on with them as much as what we need to do here. "He's going to make them a better club. We expect some moves to be made. We're not surprised they've made some moves. It's part of baseball." Said right fielder Nate Schierholtz, "We're a good team. We have great pitching. No matter who they have, I think we have everything we need to be successful and win the division." Right-hander Sergio Romo was impressed, but not surprised. "He may not be having the season people would be expecting him to have statistically, but he's still an unbelievable talent," Romo said of Ramirez. "He's a guy you have to respect. He can be a game-changer; he's proven to be a game-changer. The Dodgers are trying to make moves. They've been saying this whole time they're trying to go for it." The Dodgers visit San Francisco for a three-game weekend showdown beginning Friday.
Surkamp has Tommy John surgery
SAN FRANCISCO -- Left-hander Eric Surkamp's season officially ended Tuesday when he underwent Tommy John surgery to repair his injured throwing elbow, manager Bruce Bochy said Wednesday.Surkamp entered Spring Training as an outside candidate for the starting rotation and showed promise, posting a 3-1 record with a 4.41 ERA in five Cactus League appearances. He struck out 14 batters and walked five in 16 1/3 innings, representing a considerable improvement over his six-game stint last September with the Giants. Then, he went 2-2 with a 5.74 ERA in six starts with 13 strikeouts and 17 walks in 26 2/3 innings. Surkamp, 25, likely will need a year of physical rehabilitation before he can resume pitching competitively. Famed orthopedist Dr. James Andrews performed the surgery on Surkamp, San Francisco's sixth-round selection in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.
Huff close to returning to team after knee injury
SAN FRANCISCO -- Aubrey Huff has been working out with the Giants since he left his rehab assignment on July 19 with tendinitis in his sprained right knee, and manager Bruce Bochy said the veteran first baseman is close to returning to the team.
"We're probably going to make a call on him the next day or so," Bochy said. "Possibly Friday we'll know exactly what we want to do with him."
Bochy said the decision the team makes with Huff's status could potentially be affected by Pablo Sandoval's condition, who strained his left hamstring in Tuesday's game.
Huff sprained his knee while celebrating Matt Cain's perfect game on June 13, and has been batting .155 this season in 58 at-bats with one home run and five RBIs.