AT&T PARK — Madison Bumgarner threw again on the outfield grass on Wednesday afternoon, marking the second time in as many days that the sidelined ace had played catch.
Out since April 21 with bruised ribs and a left shoulder AC sprain, Bumgarner is making faster than expected progress. Originally, Bumgarner wasn’t even slated to begin throwing until the end of the week.
“He felt actually a little bit better [than on Tuesday],” manager Bruce Bochy said. “He’ll be off tomorrow, but [he’s] just continuing his rehab. It’s actually going fine — considering that Friday was the [day] we planned on him throwing for the first time.”
While Bumgarner is advancing through the early stages of his recovery at a surprisingly rapid rate, Bochy still wasn’t ready to offer a time frame for when the starter could reclaim his perch atop the rotation.
“Really, as far as his timetable, there’s not a definite target date anyways,” Bochy explained. “[We’re] looking at an area right now, but we’ll see how the progress goes and make that determination in probably a month — I’m guessing.”
Pence begins minor league rehab
Hunter Pence, who has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 13 with a left hamstring strain, began his minor league rehab assignment with the High-A San Jose Giants on Wednesday night.
Bochy said the right-fielder will play five innings in his first game and seven on Thursday before being re-evaluated.
“He’s probably going to want to come up then,” Bochy joked. “But we’ll see how he’s doing. I’m thinking it could be 15, 20 at bats. It could be more. It could be a couple less. We’ll see how he’s moving around and how he’s swinging.”
Gillaspie set to resume rehab this weekend
Conor Gillaspie (back spasms) is back to taking part in baseball activities. Bochy said that the reserve infielder, whose first rehab stint was put on hold following a setback, will head to San Jose this weekend.
No word on Strickland’s appeal
Asked if the club had heard back about the appeal of Hunter Strickland’s six-game suspension, Bochy offered a brief reply.
“No. No, we have not,” Bochy said
The league has already reduced Bryce Harper’s ban from four games to three.