Zito's first rehab start pushed to Monday
Bochy expects southpaw to hurl four or five innings for San Jose
SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Zito's Minor League rehabilitation assignment will still begin with a start for Class A Advanced San Jose -- just one day later than previously expected.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Zito will get back on the mound Monday for the San Jose Giants -- pushing it back from Sunday for scheduling reasons -- but didn't expound much further on Zito's upcoming outing. Bochy said Zito will be "somewhat" on a pitch limit, though he will talk to pitching coach Dave Righetti before setting a specific count, and figured the left-hander would probably throw four or five innings.
Zito was placed on the disabled list Tuesday, retroactive to Aug. 1, with a recurrence of the right mid-foot sprain that sent him to the DL earlier this season. The move also cleared a spot in the rotation for Jonathan Sanchez.
In other injury news, Bochy said he will have to talk to Miguel Tejada (abdominal strain) before announcing the details of the shortstop's potential rehab assignment, though he once again reported Tejada was making progress.
"He's feeling a lot better. He's doing quite well," Bochy said. "Hoping he can go get a little playing time before we activate him here soon in a few days."
Beltran day to day after tweaking right hand
SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants right fielder Carlos Beltran left Sunday's 3-1 win over the Phillies before the eighth inning, nursing an injured right hand that might keep him out of the lineup Monday.
Manager Bruce Bochy officially listed Beltran as day to day and didn't rule out the possibility that he could play in the opener with the Pirates. Beltran, the biggest of the Giants' three non-waiver Trade Deadline acquisitions, felt his hand flare up on his final swing, when he struck out in the bottom of the sixth. Bochy initially said it was a sprained right wrist, but Beltran clarified it was the back of his hand that bothered him.
Beltran underwent X-rays, which came back negative, and said it was the first time he has sustained an injury like this.
"I tried to hold the bat, and I felt a sharp pain," Beltran said. "My hand got weak, and I let the trainer know about it. I went to the cage to try to swing the bat, and it was a little bit weak. I told him I didn't want to really take a chance, so they took me out of the game.
"If I feel like I can swing the bat the way that I can compete in the game, I want to be out there. But if I can't, I have to be smart."
Beltran will continue to treat the injury with anti-inflammatories and ice.
"He thinks it's going to be a lot better tomorrow, and getting X-rays didn't show anything. So, he could wake up and it not be there," Bochy said. "That's happened occasionally with hitters. One little tweak in the swing and something flares up, but it could calm down. That's being hopeful, I know."
More 'consistent' lineup slots Huff in five-hole
SAN FRANCISCO -- It's no secret that Aubrey Huff has struggled at the plate this season, and the Giants' club-wide offensive woes are well-documented.
After putting up excellent numbers as the team's primary run producer last season, Huff is batting just .244 this year. And the Giants, following Sunday's 3-1 win over the Phillies, have now been held below three runs in 12 of their past 17 games -- the first such stretch for the franchise in 102 years, since John McGraw's team scored two runs or fewer 12 times in 16 games in 1909.
Following a meeting with position players prior to Saturday's game, manager Bruce Bochy decided to stick with a more steady lineup for the foreseeable future, hoping the consistency will break the Giants out of their season-long slump.
"We talked about it yesterday as a group. We're going to try to stay consistent here. I said this yesterday, I think really a few times, we know we're a better offense than what we've done the last eight or nine games," Bochy said. "I know it's been a struggle for the most part, but I'm not going to let the last eight or nine days dictate the whole year. Our thinking is being positive and believing that these guys are going to come out of it.
"I think it'll maybe help them relax a little bit. If it helps, great. As a manager, you think of ways you can get them out of it. Right now, I think one of the best ways is to stay as consistent as we can with this lineup."
That includes Huff, who entered Sunday with a .319 average, two doubles, a homer, three RBIs and four walks in his previous 15 games. The first baseman was batting fifth against the Phillies, and Bochy expects to see Huff in the middle of the lineup for most of the season's final two months.
"He's been there. He's a big reason why we won last year. I'm not trying to live on yesterday's headlines, believe me," Bochy said. "I think he's a guy that's always hitting in the heart of the order and has that experience. We want to certainly show our confidence in him. I think he helps protect Pablo [Sandoval]. For a few reasons, I've got him hitting fifth."
Bochy responds to radio host's harsh remarks
SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy delivered a calm but critical response Sunday to comments from a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host who called him a "coward," the team "gutless" and right-hander Ramon Ramirez an "illegal alien."Philadelphia-based broadcaster Tony Bruno, an acknowledged fan of that city's sports teams, reacted angrily to Friday night's Phillies-Giants brawl in the form of a remark on Twitter. Ramirez hit Shane Victorino with a sixth-inning pitch, prompting the melee. "gutless #!@%*# Giants," Bruno posted. "Bochy is a coward for having his illegal alien pitcher hit a guy since mighty Frisco boys..." Bruno quickly removed the comment. But, given the nature of today's Internet, it had already been widely disseminated. Asked for his reaction, Bochy said he didn't know who Bruno was, then jokingly added, "I guess I called Ramirez on the cell phone when he was on the mound." Turning serious, Bochy said, "Forget the remarks about me. That's doesn't bother me. But for a guy to make a racist comment like that and have the ear of so many people, yeah, that bothers me. I can defend myself as a coward, but I don't know if you can defend yourself making a racist comment." Bruno apologized for his Tweet on his Facebook page but maintained his stance regarding Bochy. "I did remove my post and apologize for my comments regarding illegal aliens," he wrote. "I was angry and on the air and I stand behind my comments that Bruce Bochy is a coward, as are all managers who order pitchers to throw at guys just because their pitchers can't get a guy out. All of you people resorting to name calling are more classless and vile." Ramirez, a native of the Dominican Republic who possesses a working visa that allows him to play organized baseball in the United States, told The Associated Press and a Spanish-speaking reporter, "I'm not interested in what [Bruno] thinks about me. I'm not interested in what he has to say. I don't need to pay attention to what he has to say about me. A lot of people say things about me. I know who I am. How would I be able to work here if I were an illegal? He put it on the Internet? I can't believe that." Until recently, Bruno was a longtime daily guest with Gary Radnich, the midmorning host on Giants flagship station KNBR (680 AM). A shuffling of assignments ended Bruno's participation on that show, but his "Into the Night" program remains part of the weeknight lineup on KNBR's partner station on a different frequency.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Adam Berry is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.