SAN FRANCISCO -- Dereck Rodriguez is first in line to pitch when the Giants resume the regular season Friday against the Oakland A's. That doesn't mean he's San Francisco's ace.Here's the order of the Giants' starting rotation following the All-Star break, as manager Bruce Bochy announced after San Francisco's 6-2
SAN FRANCISCO -- Dereck Rodriguez is first in line to pitch when the Giants resume the regular season Friday against the Oakland A's. That doesn't mean he's San Francisco's ace.
Here's the order of the Giants' starting rotation following the All-Star break, as manager Bruce Bochy announced after San Francisco's 6-2 Interleague loss to Oakland: Rodriguez, Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto and Andrew Suarez. Jeff Samardzija, who went on the 10-day disabled list Sunday with inflammation in his right (throwing) shoulder, could pitch the fifth game of the season's second half -- July 25 at Seattle -- if he's healthy by then.
In determining the sequence of starters for the season's resumption, Bochy and pitching coach Curt Young considered factors such as days of rest or whether a particular pitcher faced Oakland this past weekend.
Such elements made Rodriguez an obvious choice to receive the first start following the All-Star break. The rookie right-hander hasn't pitched since last Wednesday, when he worked three shutout innings of relief against the Cubs. The Giants don't want his arm to become petrified, hence the need to get him back on the mound sooner than later. Moreover, since the A's didn't see him this past weekend, the Giants might have mystery on their side when he pitches.
From then on, the common sense becomes even more common. Bumgarner is Bumgarner, and Cueto is Cueto. They need to pitch. Then comes Suarez, who allowed four runs and four hits in five innings Sunday but is healthy, unlike Samardzija.
Samardzija went on the DL for the third time this season, less than 24 hours after he struggled to harness his usual stuff during his performance Saturday against the A's. He allowed two runs and three hits in four innings but struck out only one and could not maintain his usual fastball velocity.
Expected to be San Francisco's No. 3 starter, Samardzija was sidelined for 53 days during his first two stints on the DL. He's 1-5 with a 6.25 ERA in 10 starts.
"He's such a competitor," Bochy said Sunday. "He wants to be out there. He willed his way through four innings yesterday. The early part of the inning was the toughest part for him, trying to get loose. Then he got to where he was letting it go at times, but he's still not quite right. So maybe these 10 days are going to help him and get him back in the form he needs to be in."
Bochy said undergoing surgery has not been mentioned as a possible course of action for Samardzija, 33, though he did receive a cortisone shot and is undergoing treatment.
Bochy added that Samardzija might throw off a bullpen mound toward the end of this week's All-Star break to evaluate his progress.
Infielder Kelby Tomlinson was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento to fill the roster vacancy Samardzija created. Tomlinson started at second base in Sunday's Interleague series finale against Oakland and went 0-for-2.
On Matheny: Bochy expressed his support for Mike Matheny, who was relieved of his duties Sunday as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals.
"I'm always surprised," Bochy said. "The team is doing fairly well. He's won every year there. I think the world of Mike. We're good friends. He's a good man. He's a good manager. He'll manage again. I don't know the situation over there to say anything about it. I really respect Mike as a person and as a manager. He did a great job."
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.