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Return of Cain, Peavy won't expand rotation

Giants to stick with five starters when injured pitchers are activated

SEATTLE -- Faced with an impending excess of starting pitchers, the Giants know what they won't do to handle the glut: resort to a six-man starting rotation.

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Right-hander Jake Peavy indicated he has overcome the worst of his back problems by lasting seven innings Tuesday night in his fourth injury rehabilitation start for Triple-A Sacramento. And Matt Cain, attempting to recover from a flexor tendon strain, has hiked his pitch count to 74 in his rehab stint, suggesting he's a start or two away from being able to perform in a Major League game.

Switching to a six-man rotation would force the Giants to trim only one starter from their existing contingent, thus easing the decision-making process -- which, said manager Bruce Bochy, he already has launched by discussing the issue with baseball operations czar Brian Sabean and general manager Bobby Evans.

However, no obvious choices for removal from the rotation exist. Nor is there any good reason for the Giants to adopt a six-man alignment.

"No one's getting overworked," Bochy said Wednesday.

Moreover, San Francisco has a scheduled off-day in each remaining week of the regular season except four. That would mean one start per week for each member of a six-man rotation.

"That can throw guys out of sync," Bochy said.

• Outfielder Gregor Blanco (concussion) could be activated from the disabled list as early as Thursday if he physically responds well to a battery of baseball-related activities he performed, including batting practice, baserunning and fielding. Blanco said he felt some discomfort near his right temple after running sprints. "But it's not bad at all," he said.

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• The Giants re-signed Marco Scutaro, one of their finest performers down the stretch and during the postseason in 2012. But Scutaro, whose career essentially ended last year due to lower back problems, won't play again. Evans said the club wanted to extend Scutaro the courtesy of finishing his career as a retired player -- and as a Giant -- instead of in limbo, which occurred when the Giants released him Jan. 28 to create a 40-man roster spot. Upon signing, Scutaro was placed on the Major League disabled list and transferred to the 60-day DL, keeping the 40-man roster at 39.

Chris Haft is a reporter for Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.
Read More: San Francisco Giants, Jake Peavy, Matt Cain