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Bumgarner hits off tee as rehab progresses

Strickland finishes suspension; Nunez could return from DL on Friday
MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner has begun to swing a bat again, manager Bruce Bochy said Sunday.

Recently at the Giants' training complex at Scottsdale, Ariz., Bumgarner hit off a tee. He pitched three hitless innings Sunday in a start with the team's Rookie-level Arizona League team, striking out two and walking one.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner has begun to swing a bat again, manager Bruce Bochy said Sunday.

Recently at the Giants' training complex at Scottsdale, Ariz., Bumgarner hit off a tee. He pitched three hitless innings Sunday in a start with the team's Rookie-level Arizona League team, striking out two and walking one.

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"[He] took the tee out on the field just to hit on the field and see how the ball was coming off the bat," Bochy said. "He's into -- whether it's pitching or hitting -- to have things right."

Bochy said Bumgarner will return to San Francisco on Monday and will throw his next bullpen session later in the week. Bumgarner and Bochy plan to schedule out the remainder of his rehab timetable.

Bumgarner is working to return from a shoulder sprain sustained during a dirt-bike accident in April. The Giants placed him on the 60-day disabled list.

Strickland active again: Giants reliever Hunter Strickland became eligible to pitch Sunday after serving a six-game suspension for the May 29 incident with Washington's Bryce Harper.

"Strickland's ready to go," Bochy said.

Strickland's arm should help San Francisco's bullpen, which has seen lots of action as of late.

"It'll be nice to have him back, for sure," reliever Steven Okert said before Sunday's series finale vs. the Mets. "He gets us all locked in. You see him on the mound -- he gets locked in. It'll be nice to have that energy back and have him ready to go today."

Nunez on track for return: Third baseman Eduardo Nunez (left hamstring) is on schedule to return to the Giants' lineup as soon as Friday, Bochy said. The team placed him on the 10-day DL on Friday (retroactive to Tuesday) and promoted Ryder Jones from Triple-A Sacramento.

Bochy said Nunez is catching ground balls and making day-by-day progress. Bochy expects Nunez could return for Friday's game in Pittsburgh.

"We miss him," Bochy said. "He's one of our catalysts -- hitting at the top of the order. He's swinging the bat so well."

Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

San Francisco Giants, Madison Bumgarner, Eduardo Nunez, Hunter Strickland