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Cautious Giants delay Samardzija's return

Right-hander will make additional rehab start for Triple-A
MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- One inning into what was supposed to be his final rehab start, Jeff Samardzija's tuneup Tuesday for Triple-A Sacramento was not going as planned.

Samardzija labored through a 40-pitch first inning, which limited him to four frames. He allowed seven hits and six earned runs.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- One inning into what was supposed to be his final rehab start, Jeff Samardzija's tuneup Tuesday for Triple-A Sacramento was not going as planned.

Samardzija labored through a 40-pitch first inning, which limited him to four frames. He allowed seven hits and six earned runs.

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Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who spoke to Samardzija on Wednesday, is in no rush to bring back the righty until he's absolutely ready.

"For now, the lean is to give him one more start," Bochy said.

The Giants want to see Samardzija build up to five or six innings.

"He's healthy, he says he feels great," Bochy said. "He feels like he's ready, and you know Jeff, he wants to be here and pitch. They always do. They'd rather be here. I just think we can be a little bit more on the cautious side this time with the coverage we have."

Rookies Andrew Suarez and Dereck Rodriguez have excelled in Samardzija's absence, providing Bochy with the depth necessary to give Samardzija an extra rehab start. Suarez has been a metronome of consistency with a 2.86 ERA in June and the Giants have won Rodriguez's last three outings.

"Hopefully it goes a little bit cleaner next time," Bochy said of Samardzija's next rehab outing. "We do that so we don't have to worry about him going out there in the sixth or seventh inning when he comes up here."

Left-field job up for grabs

Austin Slater, who was called up Saturday, is the latest outfielder to join Bochy's revolving door in left field.

"It's hard when you're not giving these guys back-to-back starts or two out of three games," Bochy said. "It's hard trying to get their timing and trying to get them all in there."

He may be playing matchups right now, but Bochy is hoping to find a long-term solution in left.

"We have a lot of baseball left so we're trying to get this worked out and we'll get to the point where one guy gets most of the time out there," he said.

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

San Francisco Giants, Jeff Samardzija