San Francisco Giants

Cain throws short bullpen session, still uncertain for Monday

SAN FRANCISCO -- Right-hander Matt Cain threw off the bullpen mound Saturday, with the Giants still hoping he could make his next scheduled start Monday against the Cubs. But it appeared as though the session was cut short after maybe 15 pitches, with Cain then walking off the mound and into the clubhouse with trainer Dave Groeschner.

What that means for Cain’s Monday status isn’t certain -- manager Bruce Bochy should give an update after Saturday night’s game -- but it’s probably a safe guess the Giants wouldn’t take any chances with Cain and his strained hamstring. Bochy Saturday said Yusmeiro Petit would likely start Monday if Cain can’t go, but that wouldn’t preclude him from using Petit this weekend if needed and that David Huff could also handle a start.

As for the other hamstring strain on the Giants’ pitching staff, Bochy said that while it’s by no means good to have Santiago Casilla on the disabled list, it’s not the worst thing for Casilla’s arm to be getting a break during the season. Casilla had already thrown 26 1/3 innings before his injury -- more than halfway to his total of 50 innings in 2013 -- which doesn’t count the times Casilla warmed up in the bullpen and didn’t enter the game.

"I guess if you’re going to look at the silver lining of something like this, it is that he’s getting a break, the arm’s getting a break," Bochy said. "It should help him stay fresh the whole season."

Bochy also reiterated that the Giants probably "got the best news we could’ve gotten" on Casilla, as the injury originally looked much worse. "We were kidding him, it was like a sniper had shot him, then kept on shooting him," Bochy said. The Giants hope Casilla will be back within a month.

Meanwhile, the Giants look to stay perfect in interleague play this season while sending this lineup out Saturday night against the Minnesota Twins:

CF Pagan

RF Pence

C Posey

3B Sandoval

1B Morse

LF Colvin

2B Hicks

SS Crawford

P Vogelsong

And the Twins’ lineup:

2B Dozier

1B Mauer

3B Plouffe

RF Parmelee

C Pinto

LF Kubel

SS Escobar

CF Hicks

P Deduno

* Bochy said Buster Posey is fine to catch Saturday night after being held out from behind the plate Friday night as a precaution. Posey had some back soreness earlier this week, but Bochy said he probably could have caught Friday and will likely catch Sunday, too.

Hector Sanchez caught Tim Lincecum instead Friday and, as Bochy put it, "got the crap beat out of him. But he seems to be doing well today." Sanchez took one particular pitch in the dirt off his unprotected right hand, and had a small bruise there Friday night, but said he was fine.

* Bochy confirmed that reliever Javier Lopez was dealing with a "cranky" arm earlier in the season. Lopez pitched just once in a nearly two-week span between April 29 and May 11, though Bochy said it was "never a situation where he couldn’t pitch. I was just trying to back off of him on purpose."

Lopez has since returned to a more normal workload.

* It’s Michael Morse at first base Saturday night and Tyler Colvin in left field against the Twins’ right-hander Deduno. Bochy said he may have to give Morse a day off soon, as Morse has played in every game this season, started most of them and is no longer exiting games early for defensive replacements in left field.

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