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Melancon throws, nearing rehab assignment

MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants closer Mark Melancon continues to make daily progress towards a return, manager Bruce Bochy said before Sunday's series finale against the Padres.

Bochy doesn't have a concrete rehab timeline yet. But Melancon threw between 25 and 30 pitches Sunday, working all the pitches in his repertoire. With team athletic trainers, the Giants will chart a definitive plan soon.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants closer Mark Melancon continues to make daily progress towards a return, manager Bruce Bochy said before Sunday's series finale against the Padres.

Bochy doesn't have a concrete rehab timeline yet. But Melancon threw between 25 and 30 pitches Sunday, working all the pitches in his repertoire. With team athletic trainers, the Giants will chart a definitive plan soon.

View Full Game Coverage

"Watching him today, it looks like he's taken a big step here," Bochy said. "It could be two or three weeks."

The Giants figure Melancon will face live hitters within a week; he's now throwing every other day. San Francisco placed Melancon on the disabled list last month for the second time with a right pronator strain.

Bochy said the Giants are not rushing Melancon back given the club's last-place status.

"If we were in a better situation, probably good chance he could be out there pitching," Bochy said. "Or close to it. But because of where we're at, I think it's wise that we make sure that he's right."

The Giants signed Melancon to a four-year, $62 million contract over the offseason. Instead of a minor rehab, the team opted to have Melancon step away from baseball for an extended period.

"He's doing the smart thing, just like we are," Bochy said. "He sees what we're going through. He wishes he could be out here helping us."

Notable

• Bochy said right-hander Johnny Cueto played "easy catch" on Sunday. Cueto is on the 10-day disabled list with blister pains sustained last weekend in San Diego.

"I don't see it being a long rehab or anything," Bochy said. "It's not like he's going to miss that much time."

• Bochy said Gorkys Hernandez, who is batting .324 with four RBIs over his last nine games, has "made a lot of noise" and "forced in the issue in terms of playing time."

Hernandez has started every game since the All-Star break.

Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area who covered the Giants on Sunday.

San Francisco Giants, Johnny Cueto, Gorkys Hernandez, Mark Melancon