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Strickland shows remorse; Cueto set to rehab

Giants' closer broke hand by punching door after blown save Monday
MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- Hunter Strickland spoke with manager Bruce Bochy on Wednesday for the first time since the Giants' closer fractured his right hand punching a door after a blown save Monday night.

"We had a good conversation," Bochy said before Thursday's game against the Padres. "He feels horrible and remorseful for what happened. We talked about a couple things we could do different to help relieve that tension or pressure."

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Hunter Strickland spoke with manager Bruce Bochy on Wednesday for the first time since the Giants' closer fractured his right hand punching a door after a blown save Monday night.

"We had a good conversation," Bochy said before Thursday's game against the Padres. "He feels horrible and remorseful for what happened. We talked about a couple things we could do different to help relieve that tension or pressure."

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Strickland, who said he has received positivity and reassurance from his teammates, was planning to speak to the team Thursday.

"This is something that I'll always regret, but I don't have time to feel sorry for myself, because I'm the one that created this problem," Strickland said. "I have to move forward and bust my tail to get back on the field and help these guys win."

Strickland was contrite when addressing the media and acknowledged that he wants to work on his emotions.

"I don't want my little daughter growing up and seeing an angry side of anything," Strickland said. "I understand the perception that I've given off from this year, last year or 2014. I understand everybody's perception of me, because this is what they see. This is what I've given them, and I don't blame them for feeling that way. I know I'm a better person than that."

As for rehabbing his right hand fracture, Strickland said the plan is to get another X-ray in two weeks and take the two pins out of his hand then. The timetable for the right-hander's return remains at least 6-8 weeks.

Rehab updates
Right-hander Johnny Cueto will begin a rehab assignment this weekend, starting for Sacramento on Saturday and throwing around 40 pitches, Bochy said.

Bochy expects Cueto to make around three rehab starts.

"It's exciting to see the light at the end of the tunnel," Bochy said.

Jeff Samardzija made his second rehab start for Sacramento on Thursday. The right-hander allowed two runs on four hits over four innings, striking out seven and throwing 73 pitches.

Before the outing, Bochy said Samardzija would be evaluated after the game to see if he needs a third rehab start.

Plenty of playing time coming for healthy Hanson
Alen Hanson exited Wednesday's game against the Marlins, appearing to be the latest Giants player stricken with an injury. But X-rays came back negative, revealing a left knee contusion, and the switch-hitter returned to the leadoff spot for Thursday's game.

"He's been a real spark," Bochy said. "The way he plays, where he plays, he's so versatile. The kid is an exciting player. That's why I'm going to try to keep him going and find a place to put him out there every day."

Video: MIA@SF: Hanson fouls pitch off leg, exits game in 1st

Left field has been a revolving door for Bochy, with Mac Williamson, Hunter Pence and Austin Jackson all getting time there. However, Hanson started in left Thursday. He has not played outfield since May 7.

"The players dictate who plays, when they play and how much," Bochy said. "Somebody steps up and takes the job and runs with it. That's where we're at right now. We're going to go with the hottest guy."

With Hanson's status uncertain after Wednesday, Bochy hinted that outfielder Austin Slater may have been on the Giants' taxi squad.

"We had to cover ourselves," Bochy said.

Slater, the Giants' No. 5 prospect per MLB Pipeline, is slashing .340/.416/.565 for Triple-A Sacramento.

Martin Oppegaard is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

San Francisco Giants, Hunter Strickland