The Giants (51-50) got news with regard to all four denizens of their injured list Tuesday that bodes well for a team already on a rapid climb up the Wild Card standings.
Cueto muddled through pain during much of the 2018 season and parts of 2017 before finally succumbing to surgery to repair his ulnar collateral ligament. The Giants hope to regain the Cueto they saw in 2016, his first season with the club, when he posted an 18-5 record with a 2.79 ERA.
Bochy said he was very excited about Cueto’s recovery:
“I love the progress he’s made. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him pitching September.”
Evan Longoria (left plantar fasciitis) took grounders and hit off a tee Tuesday and Bochy said the plan is to continue to ramp up baseball activities for the third baseman and hopefully advance to the point of running soon.
Longoria was finally hitting his stride right before going on the IL with the foot injury that has dogged him in prior seasons with Tampa Bay as well. In the month of July before being shelved July 15, Longo was batting .400 with six homers with a 1.537 OPS and 12 RBI.
Bergen pitched in 18 games for the Giants posting a .222 batting average against and a 4.24 ERA before being shelved May 29.
Vincent also pitched in 18 outings before going on the IL June 21, but to that point he had a 5.58 ERA, allowing 2.1 home runs per nine innings, and batters were teeing off on him at a .286 clip.
Madison Bumgarner (5-7, 3.65 ERA) will face Yu Darvish (3-4, 4.46 ERA) in game two of three with the Cubs Tuesday for a 6:45 p.m. start at Oracle Park. Bumgarner is coming off a stunning nine-inning, one-run gem pitched against the Mets Thursday in what turned into a 16-inning contest. It was the first of the three extra-inning episodes in the series with New York won by the Giants.
The Giants placed rookie outfielder Steven Duggar on the taxi squad Tuesday as coverage in the event that left-fielder Alex Dickerson, who has a history of back issues, needs to be placed on the injured list.
Dickerson has been a catalyst since joining the team June 21, and in 24 games he is batting .397 with a 1.257 OPS, eight doubles, three triples and five home runs. Bochy avoided using him in Monday’s tight ball game with the Cubs due to some back stiffness:
“If I had to use him I would’ve used him but I just made up my mind during the game I didn’t want him to get heated up and everything and not have him available today. If I was out of players just like the previous game I would’ve used him.”
Dickerson will start in left field Tuesday night in game two against the Cubs, batting fourth.