San Francisco Giants

Setback will delay Travis Ishikawa’s return from back strain

San Francisco Giants' Travis Ishikawa scores past Los Angeles Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis on a triple by Gregor Blanco during the fourth inning of a spring training baseball exhibition game in Glendale, Ariz., on Friday, March 27, 2015.
San Francisco Giants' Travis Ishikawa scores past Los Angeles Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis on a triple by Gregor Blanco during the fourth inning of a spring training baseball exhibition game in Glendale, Ariz., on Friday, March 27, 2015. AP

Travis Ishikawa said last week he felt ready to play for the Giants again and over the weekend joined them for their World Series ring ceremony at AT&T Park. But his return to the field will take longer.

Ishikawa, who is rehabbing from a lower back strain, had a setback Tuesday that will push back his timetable, manager Bruce Bochy said today. Ishikawa has been with the Giants during the Triple-A River Cats’ current road trip and will remain in San Francisco to continue his rehab.

"We’ll see if we can get this resolved back to where he can do some stuff on the field," Bochy said. "He was hurting quite a bit yesterday. He’s going to need some more time."

That’s frustrating news for Ishikawa, who was 6-for-18 in his first five rehab games with Sacramento. Bochy said the setback doesn’t restart Ishikawa’s rehab timetable completely, but after quieting down the latest issue Ishikawa likely will have to go back to the minors for more rehab games.

"I don’t think we’re going to restart from the beginning," Bochy said. "He still has 15 days or so left on his rehab."

The Giants do have Justin Maxwell playing well right now in a reserve outfielder role -- well enough that Maxwell sheds the "reserve" tag for the second straight game tonight against the Dodgers and ace Clayton Kershaw. Maxwell went 2-for-3 with a triple and home run Tuesday night and is batting .318 for the season.

"Somebody gets hot, they stay in there," Bochy said. "Right now he’s hot."

On the other end of that spectrum is Casey McGehee, who’s hitting .171 and is not in the lineup against Kershaw. Matt Duffy, who’s 2-for-2 in his brief career against the reigning N.L. MVP, starts tonight at second base with Joaquin Arias at third.

The full Giants’ lineup:

LF Aoki

2B Duffy

CF Pagan

C Posey

RF Maxwell

1B Belt

3B Arias

SS Crawford

P Bumgarner

And the Dodgers’ lineup against Madison Bumgarner:

SS Rollins

1B Turner

RF Puig

2B Kendrick

LF Van Slyke

CF Heisey

3B Uribe

C Ellis

P Kershaw

* Ryan Vogelsong will start the finale of this series for the Giants tomorrow afternoon. It was between Vogelsong and Yusmeiro Petit, and Bochy said the Giants wanted to keep Petit in the bullpen in case they need help from a swingman.

Vogelsong has allowed 12 earned runs in 10 1/3 innings to start the season and opposing hitters are batting .400 (20-for-50) against him. His last outing was last Friday, so he’ll be well-rested for the starting assignment, a more familiar and comfortable role for the right-hander.

* Madison Bumgarner hasn’t had a very characteristic start to the season, either, going 1-1 with a 5.29 ERA in his first three starts. Bochy said Bumgarner has “made a couple mistakes, but hey, this guy’s human. But he sets the bar pretty high for himself. He’s disappointed how things have gone for him so he’s doing all he can to get on track.”

One Dodger hitter with good career numbers against Bumgarner is Justin Turner -- 6-for-18, two homers -- which probably explains why Turner is starting at first base and hitting second and Adrian Gonzalez -- 4-for-35 career against Bumgarner -- is not.

Turner’s two homers off Bumgarner are one more than the entire Giants starting lineup has career-wise against Kershaw. The one belongs to Posey, who has faced Kershaw more than any other hitter in the left-hander’s big-league career and is 11-for-60 (.183).

Bochy said he’s as much looking forward to the pitchers facing each other: Kershaw is 3-for-5 against Bumgarner lifetime, while Bumgarner is 1-for-7 against Kershaw.

* Big off-the-field news today regarding Barry Bonds, whose obstruction of justice conviction was thrown out by a federal appeals court. Bochy’s comment:

"Good for Barry. I’m happy for him. I’m glad it’s gotten resolved so he can move on. I’ll be honest, I’ve been focused on the club but did hear the news. Barry has to be elated that he’s able to put this behind him and get on with his life."

Call The Bee’s Matt Kawahara, (916) 321-1015. See his baseball coverage at sacbee.com/mlb. Follow him on Twitter at @matthewkawahara.

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