San Francisco Giants Notebook: Johnny Cueto, Steven Duggar, lefties and the Ballot Brothers

AT&T PARK — The San Francisco Giants have still not set their rotation for the Bay Bridge Series this weekend, but both Dereck Rodriguez and Jeff Samardzija are available out of the bullpen on Wednesday, in support of Johnny Cueto.

“With the day off tomorrow, we could use everybody,” Bochy said.

In his first start off of the 60-day disabled list last week, Cueto gave up five runs on 10 hits in five innings, but none after the second.

“We’ll keep a watchful eye on him,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “We’ll look at his innings, see how stressful they are, and we think he needs help, we’ve got him covered.”

*****

The Giants will have four left-handed bats (including switch-hitter Alen Hanson) in the lineup against the Chicago Cubs’ Mike Montgomery on Wednesday. Montgomery is the odd lefty that has reverse splits.

Left-handed hitters are batting .239 against Montgomery in his career, as opposed to righties, who are hitting .230. This year, lefties are hitting him at a .264 clip, compared to right-handed hitters batting .229.

That means a start for Steven Duggar, who hit .175 against left-handers this year in Sacramento, but in three minor league seasons before that, he hit .303 (79-for-261).

“He’s going to be playing a lot of center field, and we’re going to find out how he handles lefties,” Bochy said. “His numbers in Sacramento, they were real low this year, but his history is that he hits lefties pretty good. He’s patient, stays in there and uses the whole field, so the kid gets the start today.”

Duggar starts alongside Gorkys Hernandez and Andrew McCutchen, the outfield that Bochy thinks is the best he can run out on a game-to-game basis.

“You’ve got three guys who’ve played center field out there,” Bochy said. “I think it gives us a lot of range. They’re all gifted athletes that cover a lot of ground, and they all throw well.”

*****

The Giants are still working Austin Slater at second base, but want to get him some time in the outfield, one way or another.

“I know he hasn’t had a start in a while, but that’s the tough part of where we’re at right now,” Bochy said. “Duggar being here and Gorkys and Cutch are going to play. Occasionally, if we feel comfortable, you could see him at second base.”

*****

Hunter Pence and Derek Holland recorded a second Ballot Brothers faux wrestling promo spot in the final hours before the end of the Final Vote, making Brandon Belt’s case for inclusion on the National League All-Star team. As of publication time, he was still in second place, and the voting site was experiencing technical difficulties.

There were no such problems for the Ballot Brothers, who cut their promo in one take, even though there were script problems early on, as Pence couldn’t get the cue cards in order.

Holland had a Giants staffer Sharpie abs onto his “dad bod” and splashed baby oil on before the shoot, a proud wrestling tradition. He tried to enlist several other relievers, including Ty Blach — who gave the Daniel Bryant “YES! YES! YES!” arm motion — and Mark Melancon.

“You want in on this?” Holland asked.

Melancon shook his head, smiled, and ducked into the clubhouse.

Ryan Gorcey

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