SAN FRANCISCO -- With the Giants' current 40-man roster being whittled down to the 25-man unit for the postseason, both Gregor Blanco and Joaquin Arias are expected to not only be on the roster, but be valuable contributing members of it.
Just seven months ago, both were signed to Minor League contracts and fighting for a roster spot as non-roster invitees to Spring Training. Blanco and Arias both signed with the Giants following winning MVP honors in their respective winter leagues. Blanco was named the MVP of the Venezuelan Winter League, where he played with fellow Giant Hector Sanchez, while Arias caught the eye of Giants hitting coach Hensley "Bam Bam" Meulens while winning MVP honors of the Dominican Winter League.
After being the everyday right fielder for half of the season, Blanco is now in a platoon with Xavier Nady in left field, while Arias has proven to be a valuable utility infielder on the Giants' bench.
"You keep pushing in this game, and Joaquin had a great winter ball in the Dominican and he opened up some eyes, as Blanco did in Venezuela," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "These guys are instrumental in our success this year, and it's a credit to them to how hard they worked in the winter and earned the invite to Spring Training and made the club. They earned it."
Giants considering shifting Lincecum's next start
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants haven't determined the order of the starting rotation for the rest of the season, specifically beginning with Sunday's game at San Diego.
Following Matt Cain's start Wednesday, Barry Zito, Ryan Vogelsong and Madison Bumgarner are slated to take the mound for the Giants, but the club hasn't decided if Tim Lincecum will follow them as he would normally be scheduled to, as the Giants begin to eye the order of their postseason rotation.
"There's a chance, but we're going to leave that open in case we want to tweak the rotation," Bochy said of Lincecum starting Sunday. "That's the luxury you have when you clinch early. We haven't set it yet, and if we want to move it around, we have the pitching to do it."
If Lincecum doesn't start Sunday, the likely candidate to make a spot start would be Yusmeiro Petit, who started last Sunday's game to give Lincecum and the other Giants starters an extra day of rest. Petit allowed two earned runs in 4 2/3 innings against the Padres.
"He's already started one and he did a good job," Bochy said. "It's nice to have a starter here who you can put in there to give you some innings so you don't have to chew through your bullpen."
Giants to announce Melky decision Thursday
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants are still mulling whether Melky Cabrera would rejoin the team when he is eligible in the postseason, and manager Bruce Bochy said he expects a final decision to be announced sometime Thursday.
"Hopefully we'll get this cleared up and figure out exactly what we're going to do, so I think tomorrow we'll have something," Bochy said before Wednesday night's game vs. the D-backs.
Cabrera is eligible to return from the 50-game suspension he received Aug. 15 for testing positive for testosterone if the Giants' postseason extends past five games, having started serving the suspension with 45 games left in the regular season.
If Cabrera were to return, he would be able to start working out at the instructional league in Arizona 10 games prior to the end of his suspension.
"Things are being discussed internally," Bochy said. "Of course Melky, his agent, they're involved, but I'm not in those discussions. My focus is out here and we're wanting to get something done pretty soon."
Bochy said players have not been consulted on the possibility of Cabrera rejoining the roster, saying that the team's focus remains on the National League Divisional Series, which Cabrera would not be eligible to return for.
"I know it's getting closer there and there are different ways to look at this, but we have to think about what's best for the club and the guys who have already been playing. Things like that come into it," Bochy said. "Whether or not he can be ready, all these things are being talked about right now."
Jay Lee is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.