Bochy announces pitchers for first week of Cactus League

Bochy announces pitchers for first week of Cactus League

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Sunday was an upbeat day for Giants pitchers, including Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum. Yet neither of them will be in the group of starters that will open Cactus League action for the Giants.

As previously reported, Madison Bumgarner will start Tuesday's exhibition opener against Oakland. He'll be followed by Jake Peavy on Wednesday against Oakland, Ryan Vogelsong on Thursday against the Cubs and Yusmeiro Petit on Friday against Texas.

Manager Bruce Bochy said that Lincecum, who looked sharp as he threw to hitters for the second time this spring, will "piggyback" the starter in one of those four games. That is, he'll likely be the first reliever out of the bullpen and will work as many innings as a starter typically would.

Bochy reiterated that Cain will start his first Cactus League game on March 10, or shortly afterward. Cain threw his initial stint of live batting practice Sunday, continuing his progress from right elbow and ankle surgery. The Giants believe that he has a better chance of sustaining that progress if he avoids the routine of pitching exhibition games and maintains a more diversified exercise regimen.

Bochy wouldn't explain specifically why Lincecum initially will "piggyback" a starter instead of starting games himself. But with Cain and Tim Hudson waiting to slide into the rotation, the Giants likely want to allow themselves as much flexibility as possible when the time comes to assign specific starting spots. Piggybacking with Lincecum should help the Giants settle upon the sequence of starters they want when the time comes.

In other developments, right-hander Sergio Romo tested his right shoulder by throwing off a bullpen mound for the second time in three days. Bochy said that Romo's outing went well. Also, Monday's intrasquad game was canceled due to the likelihood of inclement weather.

Chris Haft is a reporter for Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.