Giles to make first spring appearance
Sunday's rainout pushes right fielder's debut to Monday
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Padres right fielder Brian Giles was rained out of his initial Cactus League appearance of the spring on Sunday, but that isn't setting his schedule back at all.Weather conditions permitting, Giles will be in the starting lineup on Monday when the Padres play the Diamondbacks at Tucson Electric Park. He said he expects to play "three or four innings and have two or three at-bats." "I want to get out there, run around and be in a big league game," Giles said after Sunday's exhibition contest against the defending National League champion Rockies was washed out at Hi Corbett Field. He was scheduled to pinch-hit. Giles underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee on Oct. 3, two days after the Padres lost a one-game playoff for the National League's Wild Card slot in 13 innings at Coors Field. Colorado scored three runs in the 13th inning and won, 9-8, when Matt Holliday slid around a rainbow throw from Giles, ending the game. Giles said the injury didn't affect his ability to complete that play. "I was trying to get my feet positioned the best I could," Giles said, "then fire it and see what would happen. It was just too short." Giles said his knee feels fine now, but he admitted he was aching throughout the final weeks of the season. He missed 34 games from May 20 to June 28 with what the club called a right knee contusion. And with the Padres vying day-to-day for a playoff spot in September, he simply played despite the pain.
"It was bad," he said. "That was obvious when they got in there with the scope. Anytime you have microfracture, it's pretty serious. But we were in a pennant race and the adrenaline gets going. The last three weeks of the season were do or die. We had to win every game the way the teams in our division were going. Obviously, I just played and gutted it out."When the rain started to fall pregame on Sunday, Giles was immediately scratched from his potential pinch-hit appearance even if the game had been played, said Craig Colbert, the team's bench coach, who was sitting in for manager Bud Black. Black was with the unit that went to China to play the Dodgers in Beijing. "There's no sense taking a chance with him," Colbert said about Giles, adding that the left-handed hitter won't play on Monday, either, if the field conditions are poor. The rainout didn't cause a major shuffling in the Padres' starting pitching for the week. Shawn Estes, still vying for the fifth spot in the rotation, will move from Sunday to Monday and be followed in the game by Glendon Rusch. Both pitchers are non-roster invitees to Padres camp. Jake Peavy remained in Peoria on Sunday and faced Milwaukee in a Minor League game. The league's reigning Cy Young Award-winning right-hander went five innings, allowing one run on two hits, with three walks and three strikeouts. He tossed 79 pitches.
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.