SAN FRANCISCO -- With lefty Eric Surkamp slated to start Tuesday against the Padres and two more off-days on the September schedule, the Giants might not need much from left-handers Jonathan Sanchez and Barry Zito this season, but it appears both will be ready to pitch before the season comes to an end.
Sanchez (high left ankle sprain) started throwing, though not yet off the mound. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he didn't know whether Sanchez would be able to return by the end of the season, although Sanchez was fairly confident he would pitch again in 2011.
"He's been throwing, so he's starting to make progress," Bochy said. "The way he's going now, we're more optimistic with him helping us."
Bochy had similar thoughts about Zito, who is on the disabled list with a right mid-foot sprain and initially appeared to be done for the year. But Zito is back on the mound, throwing a 50-pitch bullpen Wednesday, and will likely be able to pitch in a game by mid-September.
"Making progress the way he's going right now, sure, I could see him helping us before the season's over," Bochy said. "And that's good news."
Posey looking forward to running, catching
SAN FRANCISCO -- Buster Posey has lost his crutches, his walking boot and quite a bit of sleep over the last few weeks, but he has not lost his desire to get back on the baseball field.
Posey, who will continue his rehab in Arizona in less than two weeks, is walking around mostly pain-free. He can't jog yet, but he is still hopeful that he will be able to catch a bullpen session and take batting practice some time in October. And when he is able to return come Spring Training 2012, he wants to be behind the plate.
"I sure as heck hope so. That's the goal," Posey said Friday. "That's why we're putting all the work in right now. I'm happy with the progress I'm making. I love catching. I love working with this staff. Anybody who gets a chance to work with this caliber of pitching is pretty fortunate. I'm looking forward to getting back into some action eventually."
For now, Posey will continue to work on range-of-motion exercises so he can begin running and ramping up his weight training. Since sustaining a season-ending leg injury May 25, he has lost about 10 or 12 pounds due to increased cardio work and a lack of lifting, noting that he "just wanted to go that way rather than the other way while I was injured." He expects to gain the weight back by the spring to make sure he doesn't "wither away" during the grind of a long season.
Posey also joked that he hasn't been getting enough sleep since his wife, Kristen, gave birth to twins last month. And as his leg has improved, it's become increasingly more difficult to watch the Giants struggle on the field, knowing he can't do anything about it. But all things considered, Posey can't complain about the progress he has made.
"Buster's in a good frame of mind," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "I think he's enjoying just walking around with no crutch and being able to do some rehab stuff. Hopefully in another month or so, he'll catch a bullpen in instructional ball so he can go home and realize he's pretty close to catching again."
Closer Brian Wilson (right elbow inflammation) doesn't appear much closer to coming off the disabled list. Bochy said Wilson was throwing "fairly well" but not yet off the mound. When projecting his comeback, Bochy spoke in rather vague terms.
"We're fairly confident he's going to be back here before long," he said.
Outfielder Nate Schierholtz, on the other hand, is making progress to return from a hairline fracture in his right foot, as he was on the field swinging and stretching Friday afternoon. Schierholtz is eligible to come off the disabled list Monday, and Bochy said he thought the outfielder would be ready to go then.
Right-hander Sergio Romo currently has the fourth-longest active scoreless streak in the National League, with 14 2/3 scoreless frames. Romo, recently returned from the disabled list after dealing with a sore right elbow, has not allowed a run in his last 20 games.
Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.