SAN FRANCISCO–It’s a momentous day at AT&T Park, and not just because the Giants are celebrating the retirement of Ryan Vogelsong.
While Vogelsong will have his day in the sun, San Francisco received positive news regarding one of the pitchers who should play an important role for the team’s future moving forward, as left-handed reliever Will Smith resumed throwing on Sunday.
Smith has been sidelined since the end of March after undergoing Tommy John surgery, and the Giants hope to have Smith prepared to go by the start of Spring Training in 2018. With Smith out for the year, the Giants were forced to use less experienced left-handed options, Josh Osich and Steven Okert, in the bullpen, and neither pitcher has provided the consistency the team expected out of Smith.
Smith wasn’t the only injured Giants player that manager Bruce Bochy discussed prior to their series finale against Arizona, as Bochy provided updates on Buster Posey, Hunter Pence and Gorkys Hernandez.
The Giants’ skipper said Posey is sitting against the Diamondbacks after taking a foul tip off of his big toe in Saturday evening’s ballgame. Bochy did say that he expects Posey to return to the lineup on Tuesday against Colorado, and he was awaiting word regarding Posey’s availability as a pinch hitter.
Bochy said that earlier this month, he elected to use Posey more at first base because of the way backup catcher Nick Hundley was swinging the bat, and because it allowed the Giants to give Posey a break from catching. With Brandon Belt sidelined since early August with a concussion, the Giants’ lineup has lacked some punch, and Hundley is as much of a power threat as anyone in the lineup at this point in the year.
“I wanted both of those guys in,” Bochy said. “With us being a little short, especially with the way Nick was playing. He was giving us good at-bats, and to be honest with you, it gave me a chance to give Buster a break with him at first all of those games. I still want to keep him behind the plate occasionally, that’s why he caught Bum (Madison Bumgarner) yesterday.”
Both Pence and Hernandez are out of the lineup again on Sunday, but Bochy said both are making progress and both could be available in a pinch hitting capacity. Hernandez is dealing with a sprained wrist, while Pence is suffering from back spasms.