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Alex Wood looks on track to push his way into Giants rotation

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Too much starting pitching was not expected to be a problem this season.

The rotation has been a surprising strength of the Giants through the first two weeks of the season, and help and a decision are both on the way.

Alex Wood threw four innings of two-run ball against the A’s affiliate site on Tuesday, according to River Cats broadcaster Johnny Doskow, and now the Giants will wait to hear how Wood feels Wednesday. If the lefty is fine, he is expected to be called up soon.

“If he comes out of this feeling good, strong and it’s a successful outing, then we’ll think about how we introduce him to the major league roster, and I don’t think that’s far off at all,” Gabe Kapler said before the Giants hosted the Reds at Oracle Park on Tuesday.

Wood, who had an ablation procedure on his lower back last month, is viewed as a starter solely at the moment, Kapler said. And the manager suggested there are no plans for a six-man rotation, meaning the return of Wood would push one of their starters to likely a long-relief role.

Kevin Gausman, Johnny Cueto and Anthony DeSclafani won’t be touched. Both Logan Webb and Aaron Sanchez have shown appealing stuff, Sanchez’s results stronger thus far, though Webb’s upcoming start in Miami may prove critical.

The Giants have not announced their rotation for the series against the Marlins, but Kapler said he believes it’ll stay on turn. That would mean Webb throws Friday, DeSclafani on Saturday and Sanchez on Sunday.

It is possible that Wood takes Sanchez’s spot, but that would be a bit surprising after the 28-year-old righty has allowed three runs in 10 innings. Webb, meanwhile, has posted a 5.23 ERA in two starts while showing stuff that tantalizes but hasn’t fully translated thus far. The 24-year-old is the only member of the rotation under Giants control for 2022.

Mauricio Dubon was out of the lineup against another righty, sitting against Cincinnati’s Luis Castillo on Tuesday while lefty-hitting LaMonte Wade Jr. got the start.

Dubon has seen just six plate appearances against righties this year — only reaching on a walk — and struggled against righties last year. If it hasn’t been Wade, it’s been Austin Slater (when healthy) taking at-bats in center against righties.

Kapler did not want to call it a strict platoon, but that appears to be where the Giants are headed with Dubon, who also will see time at shortstop against lefties because of Brandon Crawford‘s struggles against southpaws.

Kapler began his media session mentioning a few of the standouts at the alternate site in Sacramento after talking with River Cats manager Dave Brundage.

— Lefty Sam Selman “is looking great, really commanding his fastball and missing bats in the zone,” Kapler said.

— Righty Kervin Castro has been “attacking the strike zone. His stuff has been good, particularly the last time out.”

Steven Duggar has been “swinging the bat really well,” Kapler said. According to Doskow, Duggar went on to tally four hits after Kapler and Brundage praised him.

Reyes Moronta (right flexor strain) won’t throw for another three or four days.


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