Giants starter Jeff Samardzija was scheduled to throw 90 pitches in a rehab start with Triple-A Sacramento Tuesday in Albuquerque with the idea that the cap would be enough to get him through at least the five innings.
But after lasting just four innings on 88 pitches, the Giants have opted to schedule a fourth rehab start for the big righty.
Samardzija, who has not pitched for the Giants since May 29 suffering from right shoulder tightness, allowed six runs on seven hits and two homers with six strikeouts and two walks.
Manager Bruce Bochy said there are no worries about his health, adding that the Giants are less concerned with the numbers than the fact that he failed to make it past the fourth inning:
“[The goal is] just to get him up five or six times. [That way] I think we can cover ourselves a little bit better and just be sure on this one [by] making sure that we have him to the point where we don’t have to be concerned with how many times he gets up.”
Bochy acknowledged that part of what allows the Giants to be so cautious with Samardzija’s return date is the fact that the rotation has been putting up such quality starts:
“I talked to [Samardzija], he says he feels great. He feels like he’s ready—you know Jeff, he wants to be here and pitch, which they always do. They’d rather be here, but I just think we can be a little bit more on the cautious side this time with the coverage that we have.”
In June, the starting rotation has put up their best numbers all season with a .571 winning percentage and an ERA of 3.03. This also allows the Giants to put off one of the two very difficult decisions on the horizon — who will get bumped from the rotation with the imminent returns of Samardzija and Johnny Cueto.
“We need Jeff back, we want him back believe me, but this does help us make sure these guys are fully ready when they come back and we don’t have any kind of rush mode.”