Scottsdale — , Ariz. – Manager Bruce Bochy made his strongest suggestion yet Friday that starter Ryan Vogelsong and second baseman Freddy Sanchez will start the season on the disabled list, even as Sanchez prepares to play defense for the first time this spring in a minor-league game this weekend.
Vogelsong pitched his first inning of the spring in a Class a game at Indian School Park on Friday, throwing 24 pitches, then expressing frustration that the staff stuck a restrictor plate on his arm.
Vogelsong said it seemed “stupid” to start a game and then be replaced after five batters.
“I threw one inning, and I’m not tired,” he said moments after coming out. “It’s just hard to be done.”
The coaches and medical staff are being extremely cautious with Vogelsong because he is coming off a back injury and because of “what’s at stake” with a pitcher who won 13 games and had a 2.71 ERA in his notable comeback last year.
The Giants have not made a final decision. at the same time, Bochy said, “We’re not going to push him to try to get him ready for his first start. to be honest, it’s looking more like the 15th (of April). We can go with four starters because of the day off and get him in the rotation the next time.”
If so, Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain would pitch in the season-opening series at Arizona. Barry Zito would pitch the April 9 opener at Colorado.
After a day off on the 10th, Lincecum, Bumgarner, Cain and Zito would pitch the next four games on normal rest (Cain getting the April 13 home opener against Pittsburgh), and Vogelsong would assume the fifth spot in the rotation at home against Pittsburgh on April 15. Zito would be the fourth starter.
A team of A’s prospects took some healthy swats against Vogelsong. he allowed two doubles, a walk and an infield hit. he also struck out a batter with an excellent curveball and got a flyball.
“I gave up some hits, but my ball was moving well,” he said. “The balls that were hit were pretty good pitches. the ball was coming out of my hand good. My breaking ball was good. I’m happy with where I’m at.”
But he was unhappy about walking away from the field after his inning was called with two outs. he threw nine balls and 15 strikes and felt he could have pitched a lot more.
“I just feel like I was capable of that,” he said, “but I’m staying with the program. Get this out of the way and move on to the next one.”
Sanchez is slated to play second base in a minor-league game today or Sunday, depending on how he feels. the staff has changed course and decided to throw him onto the infield even if he cannot demonstrate a long throw across his body in practice.
“We think he’s able to make the play to first,” Bochy said. “If it’s a backhand play, he might not be able to make it and we’ll tell him not to throw. It’s kind of a day-to-day thing with Freddy.”
However, when asked if Sanchez was just as likely as Vogelsong to start the year on the DL, Bochy said, “I think that’s fair to say. Nothing’s official yet, but where we’re at, at this stage, it’s a strong possibility.”
There will be another first this weekend.
Buster Posey was to catch six innings against Texas on Friday night and make his first spring start at first base against Colorado today. Bochy said the staff figured this is the best way to ease Posey into his first back-to-back games in the field.
Also, Brian Wilson is scheduled to pitch once more in the minors before returning to the Cactus League against Kansas City on Monday.
A’s in Japan: Crowds welcome players, who take in sights. B9
Rangers 4, Giants 1
Notable: Buster Posey had his first play at the plate since the collision with Scott Cousins. In the fifth inning, Mitch Moreland slid feet-first and scored from second on an Elvis Andrus single. Posey stood well in front of the plate, took a strong throw from center fielder Angel Pagan and turned to make a swipe tag on Moreland, one of the biggest Texas players. There was no contact, and Posey missed the tag. … that was the only run in 5 2/3 innings against Madison Bumgarner and ended the lefty’s string of nine scoreless innings. … Brett Pill homered in the ninth to avert a second straight shutout. … Sergio Romo pitched a scoreless inning in his return from an elbow issue. … the three runs against Javier Lopez in the ninth were the first against him this spring.
Quotable: “I think you guys were looking forward to it more than I was. There are going to be plays at the plate. It’s part of playing the game.”
- Posey, saying the play was not a big deal.
Today’s games: Rockies (Juan Nicasio) at Giants (Travis Blackley), 1:05 p.m., KNBR. Giants (Matt Cain) at Reds (Homer Bailey), 1:05 p.m.
This article appeared on page B – 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle