The Giants have been without Madison Bumgarner all season, after the ace broke the pinkie on his throwing hand during his final tune-up start in spring training. The good news is that Bumgarner is now expected to begin throwing off a mound next week, putting most estimations for his return around early June.
But Giants beat writer Andrew Baggarly believes Bumgarner may be ready to go earlier than that, as he explained to Gary & Larry on Friday morning.
“Well he’s eligible May 25 or 26, so I’ll go with May 27,” Baggarly said when asked to give his prediction on a return. “I think he’s going to return as soon as he possibly can. I mean you know how bullheaded he is and how diligent he is and I think he’s done a lot — as much as he can — to sort of keep the rest of his body in shape until he can start throwing, and I think he’s going to ramp up pretty quickly.
“So as long as everything’s feeling good and should be healed up, I think he’s going to accelerate this as fast as they’ll let him, and even if they tell him to slow down he probably won’t, knowing him. So I think he’s going to be back before the end of this month.”
Baggarly also touched on Jeff Samardzija, who has struggled mightily since returning from a pectoral injury sustained in Spring Training. Baggs agrees with Henry Schulman’s sentiment that Smardzija was rushed back too early.
“Oh yeah, 100 percent,” Baggarly said. “I agree with Henry. You know he only had one minor league start, and I think he threw 60 pitches during that start. Ideally you’d have him throw one or two more beyond that and get closer to 90 pitches before starting a major league game, so they definitely rushed him, there’s no question.”
Listen to the full interview below. To hear Baggarly on Bumgarner, start from 10:25.