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Dirt-bike accident sends Bumgarner to DL

Giants' ace will reportedly be sidelined for 6-8 weeks with left shoulder injury
MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

DENVER -- Any thoughts or actions the Giants devote toward maintaining their postseason contender status will be tempered by the multiple injuries that ace left-hander Madison Bumgarner sustained in a dirt-bike accident Thursday.

Indulging in what he thought would be harmless recreation on a scheduled off-day, Bumgarner sustained bruised ribs and a Grade 1 or 2 AC sprain in his pitching shoulder, the Giants announced Friday. MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reported Bumgarner is expected to be out for six to eight weeks, though the Giants would not confirm that.

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DENVER -- Any thoughts or actions the Giants devote toward maintaining their postseason contender status will be tempered by the multiple injuries that ace left-hander Madison Bumgarner sustained in a dirt-bike accident Thursday.

Indulging in what he thought would be harmless recreation on a scheduled off-day, Bumgarner sustained bruised ribs and a Grade 1 or 2 AC sprain in his pitching shoulder, the Giants announced Friday. MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reported Bumgarner is expected to be out for six to eight weeks, though the Giants would not confirm that.

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The magnitude of Bumgarner's first career stint on the disabled list was such that Giants manager Bruce Bochy elected to deliver the news to the team in a brief pregame meeting, rather than let players find out through word of mouth.

Afterward, the atmosphere in the clubhouse wasn't gloomy, but it was certainly muted.

"Yeah, you're surprised," catcher Buster Posey said. "We just have to look forward, play hard baseball and hopefully he'll be back before too long."

Video: Rosenthal on Bumgarner's injury

For now, left-hander Ty Blach will replace Bumgarner in San Francisco's starting rotation -- though all of the Giants who addressed the subject agreed replacing a performer such as Bumgarner, a four-time All-Star who dominated the 2014 World Series, is a daunting task.

Asked how the Giants can compensate for Bumgarner's absence, pitching coach Dave Righetti said, "You don't worry about making it up, honestly. You just move on for now. ... You go to the next guy and try to do your best there."

That would be Blach, who began the season in the bullpen after starting for virtually his entire career. Blach acknowledged he'll have some sense of familiarity Tuesday when he makes his first 2017 start against the Dodgers, whom he blanked for eight innings last Oct. 1 in a 3-0 triumph over Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw.

"Any time you're going to lose a guy like that in the rotation, as much as he means to this team, that's tough," Blach said of Bumgarner. "But we're going to come together and we'll get him healthy and back in the rotation soon."

To replenish the pitching staff, the Giants recalled right-hander Chris Stratton from Triple-A Sacramento. Summoning right-hander Tyler Beede, the organization's top prospect, might have caused complications since he's not on the 40-man roster. The Giants would have had to remove somebody from the 40-man contingent, thus risking losing him through waivers.

Video: Zinkie on options to replace Bumgarner after injury

As Bochy previously has said in similar instances, the Giants have no choice but to cling to optimism, though they entered Friday occupying last place in the National League West with a 6-10 record.

Asked if he and his teammates shared an unspoken sense of urgency, Posey replied, "I would say that's accurate. ... Baseball's the type of sport where sometimes, if you try to do more, it actually works against you. I do believe you can intensify focus. [But] there's a line you have to go up to and make sure you don't go over."

Bumgarner apparently crossed the boundary of safety when he was said to have encountered a slick spot on the course he took on his motorized bike.

"If I was there, sure, I wouldn't have let him on that bike," Bochy said. "I mean, I'm sure looking at it now, Madison wishes he wouldn't have gotten on. He's very remorseful in talking to him. Unfortunately, an accident happened. So our focus is more on let's get him healthy. It's happened. Let's get him well and get him back on the mound."

Bochy felt no need to reprimand Bumgarner, who was 0-3 this season despite compiling a 3.00 ERA in four starts.

"He said, 'You know, I should say I'm sorry. I don't think I need to because I feel terrible for what's happened,'" Bochy related.

Bumgarner, who slipped unnoticed into the visitors' clubhouse during batting practice, spent Thursday night at the team hotel after undergoing various tests.

Said Posey, "I think the main thing is, you have to be grateful that he's not hurt worse."

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, Madison Bumgarner