Bay Area Baseball

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June 22, 2013
After MRI shows small tear, Pagan awaits second opinion

SAN FRANCISCO -- Angel Pagan addressed reporters before today's game against the Miami Marlins and said the MRI he had yesterday on his left hamstring showed a small tear in the area that wasn't there before he re-aggravated the injury running to first base in a rehab game Thursday night. Pagan is still awaiting a second opinion on the injury before he and the Giants decide their next course of action.

Pagan said the ground ball to second base late in the game was "the only chance I had to test (the hamstring) out." Running to first base, "It was a really loud pop that I felt in my leg. It's hard to explain. I went down (to the ground) because of the frustration." Pagan was carted off the field.

The frustration is understandable given that Pagan, who last played for the Giants on May 25, spent weeks rehabbing the injury and felt he was close to returning, potentially by this weekend. Instead, he's waiting for the second opinion before option whether to undergo more rehab or potentially have surgery, which could keep him out six to eight weeks.

"It's a setback," Pagan said. "It's going back to zero."

Pagan said his understanding of the surgery, if he did go that route, is that it's a "simple surgery" with one incision. He also said, "The last thing I want is to try another thing (besides surgery) and go back to zero again." But he stopped short of outright saying he sees surgery as the best option, saying he wants more input from doctors.

Apparently Pagan was delayed getting to the rehab game. But he still arrived before first pitch and said he had three to four innings to get ready, so "preparation wasn't an issue. I did what I was supposed to do. They weren't going to let me into the game without being ready."

When he did get in, he said he played several balls in the gap without problems. It wasn't until he left the box on the ground ball to second that he felt the pop. Pagan said he had tried to simulate running the bases at game speed while working up to the rehab game, but the adrenaline of actually being in a game likely made a difference.

Manager Bruce Bochy said the Giants are not leaning one way or another on Pagan right now, "until we get the other opinions from specialists, what they think is the best thing to do. We never look at surgery as the best option until we get all the information we can get, then make the call."

Meanwhile, Andres Torres was wearing a large wrap around his right knee after bruising it last night diving into third base and is not in the lineup. Bochy said Torres still has some swelling in the knee and could be available to pinch-hit today depending on how he responds to treatment.

Shortstop Brandon Crawford was back in the lineup the Giants posted in their clubhouse. Bochy said Crawford was going to take some swings and ground balls, and that he could still be taken out if the sprained fingers on his throwing hand are bothering him. But there haven't been any changes announced yet.

Here's the full Giants lineup:

LF Blanco
2B Scutaro
C Posey
RF Pence
1B Belt
SS Crawford
CF Perez
3B Noonan
P Zito

And the Marlins lineup against Zito:

LF Ruggiano
2B Lucas
RF Stanton
CF Ozuna
1B Morrison
SS Hechavarria
3B Polanco
C Mathis
P Turner

* It will no doubt be an emotional day for Zito, who is pitching for the first time since the death of his father, Joe Zito, this past week. Zito left the team for a day last Wednesday to see his family, and Bochy said he talked with Zito about the possibility of skipping this start, but Zito wouldn't hear of that.

"Barry was adamant, 'I'm not going to change my routine,'" Bochy said. "'I'm going down to say bye to my father, but I'll be back up.' He's been pretty strong through all this. There's nothing harder than having to deal with it, but he was adamant he didn't want to change anything."

So the Giants will try to snap their nine-game home losing streak against the Marlins behind Zito, who is 4-1 with a 2.06 ERA in nine starts at AT&T Park this season. The Giants are 7-2 in those games, and they also haven't lost three games in a row at home this year. So something's got to give.

-- Matt Kawahara

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About Bay Area Baseball

Matt KawaharaMatt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee’s sports staff in fall 2011.
Email: mkawahara@sacbee.com.
Phone: (916) 321-1015.
On Twitter: @matthewkawahara.

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