Bay Area Baseball

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July 21, 2013
Affeldt likely out 4-6 weeks, plus lineups for Giants, D-Backs

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt will likely miss four to six weeks after an MRI showed a moderate left groin strain, manager Bruce Bochy said. Affeldt came out of Saturday night's 4-3 Giants win over the Diamondbacks after feeling a pop in his groin delivering a 3-1 pitch to A.J. Pollock.

Affeldt said he has been pitching with discomfort in the groin area for several weeks but hoped it would go away. He said the pain started to escalate during last night's game and after the 3-1 pitch to Pollock, "the pain threshold went up a little bit and I didn't know if I'd be able to deliver the next pitch."

The Giants placed Affeldt on the 15-day disabled list before today's series finale against the Diamondbacks and recalled Jean Machi from Triple-A Fresno. Bochy said the Giants will go forward with two left-handers in the bullpen and Jose Mijares will likely see an expanded role in the late innings.

Affeldt had a rough stretch of outings beginning June 18 in which he allowed seven runs in 6 1/3 innings over eight appearances. He said Sunday he didn't want to use the groin discomfort as an excuse -- he has pitched through such nagging issues before, he said -- but the lower-body issue may have caused him to alter his delivery some and gotten into the back of his head.

Affeldt said he still felt he was able to execute pitches and compete on the mound, and said the pitch on which he got hurt "was actually one of my better sinkers." He refused to second-guess pitching through the original discomfort. Bochy said he was unaware of any problems prior to Saturday.

"Far as I know he's been good to go and it hasn't really played a part in whether I was going to use him or not," Bochy said. "He's been a go. It's too bad this happened because he's an important part of the pen."

Like Affeldt, Bochy said he's comfortable using Machi against both lefties and righties. Machi is 2-0 with a 3.58 ERA in 26 games for the Giants this season. Aside from one appearance this month in San Diego, Machi has been in Triple-A since being sent down in late June following a couple of rough outings.

"I think he got used quite a bit (early on) and it might have caught up with him that one stretch, because of our struggles," Bochy said.

As for Mijares, Bochy said he had actually talked with Affeldt recently about scaling back Affeldt's role in the late innings, so Machi was already getting into more of those situations along with left-hander Javier Lopez. Machi had a crucial outing Saturday night after Affeldt came out of the game, striking out Adam Eaton with the bases loaded to preserve the Giants' two-run lead.

Affeldt said he has dealt with a groin injury previously in Kansas City and understands it's one of those injuries that requires time to heal. He added a little levity referencing his injury history, which includes time missed to ailments caused by picking up his son and separating frozen hamburgers.

"I got hurt on the field (this time)," Affeldt said, "which is comforting for me."

* The Giants' lineup today as they go for a sweep of the Diamondbacks:

CF Blanco
2B Scutaro
C Posey
3B Sandoval
RF Pence
1B Belt
LF Tanaka
SS Crawford
P Bumgarner

And the Diamondbacks' lineup against Bumgarner

CF Pollock
3B Prado
1B Goldschmidt
2B Hill
C Montero
LF Ross
RF Parra
SS Pennington
P Delgado

* Bochy said he'll announce the Giants' second starter for Tuesday's doubleheader against the Reds after today's game. He also didn't lock in to having Barry Zito start the first game -- the makeup for the rainout in Cincinnati -- meaning Zito could pitch the 7:05 p.m. start, in which the Giants will be the home team.

Bochy was asked about the fact the Giants have to wear their road gray uniforms in the first game, in which the Reds will bat last, and shrugged it off -- mostly.

"I don't see the importance of it," Bochy said. "But hey, you're the road team and that's what you do, you wear road uniforms. I don't think it makes a difference. It's certainly easier on us than them."

For the Reds, it means lugging an extra set of uniforms on the trip. As another reporter pointed out, at least the teams won't be switching clubhouses.

* Ryan Vogelsong came out of facing live hitters Saturday with no setbacks and is on track to pitch in a rookie league game in Arizona on Tuesday, Bochy said. Vogelsong will likely throw two innings, or about 35 pitches.

* Brandon Crawford is back in the lineup after not starting Saturday with a sore foot. Crawford had his left foot stepped on Friday night by Diamondbacks reliever Heath Bell. Bochy said Crawford, who entered Saturday night's game as a pinch hitter and stayed in to play defense the rest of the game, probably could have started Saturday as well.

* If the Giants can finish off the sweep today, it would be their first of the Diamondbacks at home since May 10-12, 2011. It would also be their first this season since taking three in a row from the Dodgers on May 3-5.

-- 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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