Bumgarner rocked for 9 runs in four-inning rehab start

Bruce Bochy and his crew have already started discussions on how they plan on maneuvering and adjusting the rotation with Madison Bumgarner‘s impending return. He’s slated to make his comeback the first week of the second half.

Bochy didn’t rule out a six-man rotation, but that could be unlikely. Matt Cain is grinding through a 7.00 ERA in his last 12 starts and seems unable to find the stride he struck in a strong April, though Bochy said he liked the way Cain was throwing. It seems unlikely Cain will get the boot into the ‘pen, simply because the team has always been hesitant to demote the longest-tenured Giant.

If Johnny Cueto is traded, though, any move could be temporary.

Ty Blach made seven appearances out of the bullpen this year already, so that transition for him is more than plausible. But the rotation would miss him: he’s had a handful of rough games sprinkled through a generally consistent rookie campaign in Bumgarner’s absence.

There’s also an outside chance that Matt Moore would be the odd man out. His. 6.04 ERA is the second-worst in baseball, a product of some mechanical issues he’s struggled through nearly every start. The question is whether it would benefit him to work through it out of the bullpen.

There’s still time to decide, though. Bumgarner gave up nine runs, including four home runs, in four innings for the San Jose Giants Thursday.

Those numbers sound awful, so bad that a July 15 return seems suspect. These rehab starts are as much about numbers as spring training starts, assured Bochy:

“It’s more about getting him ready, getting him prepared … [Results] does play a little part in how we determine if he’s ready.”

He’ll get another start in San Jose Monday, with more pitches in the bank.

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Two games remain in this season’s first half, so the Giants decided to make an offense kick.

Miguel Gomez was called up from double-A Richmond before the three-game finale with the Marlins Marlins. Chris Stratton — who made an emergency 6-2/3-inning start Thursday — was optioned to triple-A Sacramento. His arm wouldn’t be necessary.

Fresh faces have helped propel this team to their fist winning road trip (4-2), the Giants are winners of seven of their last nine. So why not see another?

Gomez, out of the Dominican Republic, was batting .305 with the Flying Squirrels. The Giants are confident in his approach, Bruce Bochy even compared the 24-year-old to Pablo Sandoval:

“…But I think he has better discipline, not really power.”

Ryder Jones was placed on the 10-day DL retroactive to July 4 after getting a pitch to the wrist, leaving only Conor Gillaspie and Kelby Tomlinson on a thin infielders bench. Gomez fills a need.

Gomez isn’t slated to get a start, though Bochy didn’t rule it out, and will probably get some playing time via double switches or as a pinch hitter. He played 72 games at second this year, where he’s most comfortable, but can play any of the bases.


Shayna Rubin is SFBay’s San Francisco Giants beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @ShaynaRubin on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of Giants baseball.