Madison Bumgarner took some swings in the batting cage at AT&T Park Monday afternoon — it was a welcome sight for a team fresh off a disappointing sweep.
Seeing a work horse like Bumgarner back on the mound will be crucial to mending a San Francisco Giants team that could be feeling a bit helpless in the midst of this historically bad stretch. Having a winner back may be the key to salvaging some of the devastation.
Bumgarner threw 33 pitches in 3 scoreless innings Sunday with the club’s Arizona League affiliate, walking one and striking out two without any apparent setbacks. It’s possible that he will start his rehab assignment Friday with the Triple-A Sacramento RiverCats and possibly move on to Single-A San Jose when the RiverCats travel the following Tuesday.
Speaking of clubhouse morale: manager Bruce Bochy addressed a Fox Sports story claiming that Mark Melancon‘s forced shift in pre-game routine is rubbing teammates the wrong way and, as a result, quieting a losing clubhouse.
Bochy said every closer has a different routine and didn’t make much of the report:
“It’s a non-story. … It’s like pole-vaulting over mouse turds.”
Melancon was signed to his lucrative contract, in part, to help lead a somewhat scattered bullpen. It isn’t out of the question to say that some of the longer-tenured bullpen arms didn’t take kindly to a new face assuming the leadership role, but to say it’s caused palpable, clubhouse-wide tension might be a stretch.
This is a typically quiet team and the clubhouse itself is often sparse during open hours. Players tend to congregate in other rooms while media is present.