SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy acknowledged Friday that he'll notice Bobby Cox's absence.Cox, the venerable manager who steered his Atlanta teams to a 2,149-1,709 record, retired at last season's conclusion -- which the Giants happened to hasten by defeating the Braves in the Division Series. "It's going to be strange for me to look over there and not see Bobby," Bochy said of Cox, who managed the Braves for 25 years. That tenure encompassed Bochy's entire Major League managerial career before this season -- 16 years with San Diego and San Francisco. "He's a good friend, too," Bochy added. "I'm really going to miss him." The feeling's mutual. Cox said at the end of the Division Series, "I love Bochy. He's one of the best guys in baseball. If we couldn't win, I'm glad he did." Bochy also praised Cox's successor, Fredi Gonzalez.
"They have a good man over there," Bochy said.
Sandoval better, back in Giants' lineup
SAN FRANCISCO -- Third baseman Pablo Sandoval reported no problems with his right triceps, enabling him to return to the Giants' lineup for Friday night's series opener against the Atlanta Braves.Sandoval strained that triceps Wednesday at Colorado, forcing him to be scratched from that day's lineup.
"I was worried a lot," Sandoval said Friday, noting that he had never sustained such an injury.But Sandoval underwent treatment Thursday, then took early batting practice Friday without aggravating the injury.
"He was excited," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He doesn't feel anything."Sandoval entered Friday batting .328 with a team-high .400 on-base percentage and .603 slugging percentage. He also had five home runs, tying Pat Burrell for the team lead.
Torres upbeat, Bochy cautious about activation
SAN FRANCISCO -- Andres Torres, who's sidelined with a strained left Achilles tendon, remained optimistic Friday about being activated from the 15-day disabled list on the earliest possible date. But Torres hasn't tried running at full speed or rounding the bases, leaving manager Bruce Bochy feeling cautious about his center fielder and leadoff hitter."That's still up in the air," Bochy said when asked whether Torres will be physically ready to leave the DL on Tuesday at Pittsburgh. Torres actually becomes eligible for activation Monday, but that's a scheduled off-day for San Francisco. Performing agility drills at AT&T Park during Thursday's off-day fueled Torres' hopes.
"Every day it gets better and better. We'll see what happens," said Torres, who injured himself April 9. Regarding a return to action next week, he said, "Why not? I'm positive."Torres said that he might undergo an MRI this weekend to determine the progress of his healing. Another mending Giant, right-hander Santiago Casilla, threw off a bullpen mound for the first time since injuring his throwing elbow. Casilla, who hasn't pitched since the March 31 season opener at Los Angeles, kept matters simple by tossing 20 fastballs. "I feel so happy today," Casilla said.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.