SAN FRANCISCO -- Nothing has been made official, but there’s a good chance Giants catcher Hector Sanchez’s season is over. Sanchez visited noted concussion specialist Dr. Michael Collins in Pittsburgh this week and was told not to do any baseball activities for three weeks, then return for a re-evaluation.
That means it would be mid-September before Sanchez, who has been on the disabled list since July 26, could even begin working back toward the field -- and that’s the best-case scenario. Sanchez said today that he’s continuing to have headaches that are "killing me" and had nausea and vomiting as recently as two days ago.
"We’ve told him and he pretty much knows that there’s a very slim chance he would be back this year," manager Bruce Bochy said. "So he knows that. There’s not much you can do about it. He just needs some rest right now."
Sanchez was in the clubhouse this afternoon and tried to maintain good spirits while he talked to reporters, but clearly doesn’t feel right. He said he will be able to exercise over the next three weeks and that his visit with Collins was encouraging because the doctor told him he ultimately will recover.
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"I hope it gets better in three weeks," Sanchez said. "That’s all I can say right now."
The Giants, then, will likely go down the stretch with Andrew Susac as their backup catcher. Susac has batted .229 with two homers and eight RBIs in 13 games since he joined the Giants, but has impressed Bochy and others with his power (in that small sample size) and arm behind the plate, throwing out four of 15 attempted base-stealers.
"It’s a tough break for Hector, of course we would like to have him," Bochy said. "But again, you have to look out for his well-being and do the right thing, and it’s taking a lot of time right now."
* The Giants’ lineup tonight against Colorado Rockies left-hander Franklin Morales:
And the Rockies’ lineup against Hudson:
* Brandon Belt, also recovering from a concussion, is "still a couple weeks away from doing any baseball activities," Bochy said. But he said Belt still appears to be ahead of Sanchez in his recovery and that, "I don’t think I’d put him in the same boat."
There was no medical update on Belt today -- he’s away from the team with his wife, Haylee, who went into labor, Bochy said. "I don’t have any news there," Bochy said. "But today he’s busy helping his wife have a baby."
* Matt Duffy gets the start at shortstop tonight over Brandon Crawford, whom Bochy said "needs a break."
"Just overall general soreness, and he’s been out there so much," Bochy said. "So with the day game tomorrow and left-hander going tonight, Duffy gets the start there."
Crawford should be back in the lineup for the finale Thursday afternoon.
* This note is from the Giants’ pre-game notes, via ESPN Stats & Info: With his one-hit, 13-strikeout shutout of the Rockies last night, Madison Bumgarner became the fourth left-hander in the last 50 years to throw a shutout while allowing no more than one hit, striking out at least 13 and issuing no walks. The others: Sandy Koufax, Randy Johnson and Clayton Kershaw (earlier this year, also against the Rockies).
That’s pretty good company for Bumgarner, who also now leads the league in double-digit strikeout games with six. One thing the other three have in common: They’ve all thrown a no-hitter. That distinction has eluded Bumgarner, but Bochy was asked if he believes Bumgarner will someday achieve the feat and sounded confident:
"You’ve got to think so, as close as he’s been," Bochy said. "It goes to show you how difficult that is. It takes some luck. … But sure, I think anytime you have a pitcher with his stuff and his command, demeanor, he’s got a good chance to do it."
* Bochy said that Yusmeiro Petit, who will take Tim Lincecum’s rotation spot and start tomorrow against the Rockies, should be OK to throw up to 100 pitches. Bochy was also asked if he thinks Petit is aware of the near-historic streak he’s on: Petit has retired the last 38 batters he’s faced, a run of 12 2/3 perfect innings.
"Good question," Bochy said. "I don’t know."
Would Bochy tell him if he didn’t?