© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
SAN FRANCISCO — Madison Bumgarner’s recovery from a broken left pinky suffered March 23 has gone as smoothly as anyone could have hoped, including manager Bruce Bochy.
Over the weekend, Bochy suggested the Giants ace could return as early as May 25, his first eligible date after sitting out for 60 days on the disabled list. That would mean Bumgarner would only make one rehab start, just as Jeff Samardzija did last month as he recovered from a strained pectoral.
Prior to Tuesday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds, Bochy revised Bumgarner’s timetable.
“I would say three (rehab starts), minimum,” Bochy said, “(and) see where he is at after the third one. Then, we will make the decision whether he makes that fourth one or not.”
Bumgarner threw his first bullpen session, which included 20 pitches, all of which were fastballs, prior to San Francisco’s 10-7 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday. Bochy said Bumgarner will throw another session Wednesday. He will face hitters in Houston next Tuesday.
And if “all goes well,” Bochy said, Bumgarner will make his first rehab start with Triple-A Sacramento next Saturday, May 26th.
The Giants, 21-21 entering Tuesday, do not want to rush him back, particularly considering how Samardzija has struggled after returning after only one rehab start. He is 1-2 with a 6.94 ERA and 1.71 WHIP in five appearances.
It seems Bumgarner will make his first major league start of 2018 sometime in early June, the club’s original prognosis.