Johnny Cueto hits major milestone in rehab from Tommy John

Giants pregame report: Cueto throws a bullpen, rotation to be announced, Pomeranz faces Dodgers

By Cyril Penn

Special to S.F. Examiner

ORACLE PARK — After undergoing successful Tommy John surgery last August, Johnny Cueto took his first bullpen session on Tuesday, and posted it to Instagram.

“He’s come along really nicely,” Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy said. “Part of that is he’s really worked tail off. With the routine, the rehab, not missing any time. He looks determined to get part sooner than later.”

Cueto broke the news himself around 2:30 p.m. with an Instagram post that read, “Milestone time. My first pen back. Mi primer bullpen que he tirado desde mi surgìa. #sfgiants”

While Cueto is likely still months away from rejoining the club, his progress is a welcome sight for everyone in the Giants organization, and it’s a major milestone for Cueto himself, who threw 25 pitches.

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After starting three straight games starting, Pablo Sandoval will be out of the starting lineup for Tuesday’s game and potentially the rest of the three-game series to rest an inflamed knee. However, he will be available to pinch hit and told Bochy he was feeling better. Sandoval’s inability to hit right-handed becasue of that knee prompted Bochy to bring in Evan Longoria in the fifth inning on Monday. That worked out well, as two innings later, Longoria hit the decisive three-run double to beat the Dodgers.

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With a four-game series coming up this weekend at Cincinnati, Bochy is undecided on who exactly will start, leaving all four starting pitchers as “To be announced” for the series. He joked that, “the third TBA needed an extra day,” before adding that he will have the pitching schedule ready by tomorrow morning.

The uncertainty is due to the fact that Derek Holland was placed on the injured list on Monday, and Ty Blach was brought up, but with the thought that he would primarily serve in a relief role.

“When I bunted the other day, it was just ringing,” said Holland, who originally hurt his left forefinger when he got hit practicing a bunt in spring training. “I want to get it taken care of now, rather than later.”

Holland said on Monday that he will get treatment including accupuncture, sonic therapy and laser therapy to help ease the pain. The injury has not impacted his pitching, Holland said, and he would be able to pitch if San Francisco was playing in September. “We wouldn’t be having this discussion,” told sports editor Ryan Gorcey on Monday.

“I just want to be able to contribute when I’m out there,” Holland said on Monday. “If I’m bunting, I want to make sure I can do my job as a pitcher. I get it, we can all sit here and say, ‘You don’t really need to go up there and hit, you can just take all three,’ but I want to be a part of this team, and I want to help every way I can.”

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With Drew Pomeranz grabbing the start on Tuesday night, he will attempt to capitalize on his best outing of the season. On April 24, Pomeranz limited the Toronto Blue Jays to two hits, two walks and no runs while striking out five over six innings.

Bochy said he’s looking to see, “hopefully some of the same stuff,” from Pomeranz.

“Really pounded the strike zone well. Pitched very efficiently,” Bochy said. “Good stuff, command of it. He really was in control the whole time and that’s what we’re looking for again.”

As he faces off against the Dodgers, who lead the NL in runs scored, home runs, and RBI, Pomeranz should expect a tough outing.

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