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Melancon might not be ready for opener

MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

SAN FRANCISCO -- Uncertainty continued to cling to Giants closer Mark Melancon, who hasn't pitched since Friday.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy wouldn't guarantee that Melancon will be ready to perform Thursday, when San Francisco opens the regular season against the reigning National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Uncertainty continued to cling to Giants closer Mark Melancon, who hasn't pitched since Friday.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy wouldn't guarantee that Melancon will be ready to perform Thursday, when San Francisco opens the regular season against the reigning National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

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"We're hoping he's all good to go Thursday," Bochy said before Tuesday's spring finale vs. the A's. "We don't know at this point right now if that will be the case."

Melancon, who underwent surgery in his right (throwing) forearm Sept. 12, said midway through Spring Training that he still felt mild discomfort in the affected area. He was lightly used during the Cactus League season, making five appearances.

Melancon played catch Tuesday and will repeat the exercise Wednesday "to see where he's at," Giants general manager Bobby Evans said. "Obviously, he's post-surgery, so I think they'll continue to make sure he's in good shape."

Asked whether Melancon had experienced a physical setback, Evans said, "No."

If Melancon is unavailable, Bochy likely will rely on Sam Dyson, Hunter Strickland or Tony Watson to fill the closer's role.

Injury updates

• Right-hander Jeff Samardzija, who's in the early stages of his recovery from a strained right pectoral muscle, visited the clubhouse for the first time since being injured last Wednesday and said that he will play catch Wednesday on flat ground. Samardzija cited his need to regain the range of motion in his throwing arm -- or, as he added, to make it "malleable" again.

• The Giants placed right-hander Julian Fernandez on the disabled list with a sprained UCL. Fernandez, the Rule 5 draftee from the Colorado organization, had 12 strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings spanning eight Cactus League appearances, reflecting his impressive stuff. He also allowed opponents to bat .303 against him and owned a 13.50 ERA, suggesting that he's still learning how to pitch.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast

San Francisco Giants, Mark Melancon