SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Freddy Sanchez is slated to play the infield for the first time this spring in a Minor League game this weekend. The Giants second baseman has not played in the field since suffering a dislocated shoulder last June, though he has been used as a designated hitter in Cactus League games with the Giants and in Minor League contests.
"I believe Sunday, maybe even [Saturday], we'll put him at second, just to get him out on the field," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He will be playing second base."
Sanchez took infield practice for the first time in at least a week on Friday, but was not going through the drills at full speed. When practicing his pivot on double play balls thrown from the shortstop, for example, Sanchez would catch and pivot at full speed, then hold back on his throws -- essentially lofting the ball toward first base.
"We think he's able to make that play to first," Bochy said. "If it's a backhand play, he may not be able to make it. We'll tell him not to throw. We'll see how he's doing [on Saturday] and go from there. It's kind of day to day with Freddy, right now."
Bochy confirmed that Sanchez is determining his pace in the field based on his own comfort level making throws. But his pace in the field affects the Giants' decisions about where Sanchez will start the season and who will be in the lineup at second on Opening Day.
When asked if Sanchez is essentially in the same boat as starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong, with Bochy saying the Giants are leaning toward starting Vogelsong on the disabled list and bringing him back in time for an April 15 start, the manager confirmed that Sanchez is in a similar situation.
"I think that's fair to say," Bochy said. "Nothing official yet. But where we're at at this stage, it's a strong possibility."
Bumgarner rounding into form for season
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Madison Bumgarner has looked remarkably ready for the season over his last two starts. He had a stretch of nine scoreless innings with six hits and two walks, spanning from his Sunday start against the Padres through the first four innings of his Friday night outing against the Rangers. The left-hander finally yielded a run in the fifth frame.
"We were just trying to get guys out mainly," Bumgarner said. "If there's anything we did work on more, it was fastball away. It's been a little bit here and there this spring, so we worked on it a lot. It was feeling really good. I was throwing it for strikes a lot.
"But if you give this team a lot of fastballs, they're going to get a lot of hits. That's what they hit. Probably the best hitting lineup out of anybody, I think. I feel good about holding them to one run."
Manager Bruce Bochy echoed his starter's sentiments, having confirmed earlier in the day that he's slotted the southpaw into the No. 2 spot in the rotation between Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain.
"He pitched great," Bochy said. "He had good stuff. He's had a good spring. He carried that into today's game. They had their lineup out there and he held them to one run. A couple times he got into jams, but he kept his poise and made great pitches."
As he prepares for his second full season and fourth overall, Bumgarner's mound maturity continues to develop, turning a mindset about his approach between starts into effective and efficient action on the mound.
"I think he's got a better understanding of his preparation before the game, even on days when he's not pitching," catcher Buster Posey said. "He's always focused, but he's got an idea of what he wants to do and what he's trying to accomplish."
Bumgarner should get three more starts before the regular season starts. But if he had his druthers, the season couldn't start soon enough.
"I felt a lot more ready for the season," Bumgarner said. "After today, I kind of feel like I'm as close to ready as I can be."
Aubrey Huff is making back-to-back starts in left field on Friday night against the Royals and Saturday afternoon against the Rockies, both home games.
"I want him to get some time in left field," Bochy said. "I don't want to leave camp without him getting some time out there. This is leaving our options open."
Huff is in a battle with Brandon Belt and Brett Pill for the starting job at first base. Pill started at first on Friday night and Belt will start on Saturday on the road against the Reds.
Buster Posey is slated to start at first on Saturday at home against the Rockies. It'll be Posey's first back-to-back starts in the field this spring, following his start behind the plate on Friday night.
"He's going six innings today," Bochy said before Friday's game. "It's a night game, so we won't have him catch tomorrow, but he'll be okay to play first. That was the plan we talked about earlier -- as we get to this point in Spring Training, he'll see time at first."
Posey broke a bone and tore the ligaments in his lower left leg last May following a collision at the plate, and this spring marks his first game action since the season-ending injury. Posey is hitting .294 (5-for-17) with a home run and two RBIs in seven Cactus League games.
"We'll wait until he starts catching back-to-back games and we'll have a better idea," Bochy said regarding how many games he could expect from Posey behind the plate. "But even then, when we get through April and May, we'll see where he's at. That won't be answered until we get into the season a little bit and see how he's holding up."
Closer Brian Wilson faced the Minor League Angels on Thursday, and is expected to pitch again on Saturday before returning to Cactus League action. The Giants like pitching him in Minor League games where they can better regulate his outing and avoid having him face division rivals like the Rockies, who the Giants faced on Thursday and host on Saturday.
"Wilson throws [on Saturday] in the Minor Leagues," Bochy said. "If all goes well he'll pitch Monday here against Kansas City."
Saturday's lineup, vs. Rockies: Angel Pagan - CF, Melky Cabrera - RF, Huff - LF, Posey - 1B, Hector Sanchez - C, Mike Fontenot - 2B, Brandon Crawford - SS, Joaquin Arias - 3B, Travis Blackley - P.
Saturday's lineup at Reds: Gregor Blanco - CF, Emmanuel Burriss - SS, Belt - 1B, Pablo Sandoval - 3B, Nate Schierholtz - RF, Ryan Theriot - 2B, Eli Whiteside - C, Justin Christian - LF, Matt Cain - P.
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.