Cain, Hudson very close to spring debuts

Romo, Lopez ready to go after recovering from sore shoulders

Cain, Hudson very close to spring debuts

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The next several days promise to be intriguing ones for the Giants' pitching staff, as a handful of key performers likely will make their spring pitching debuts.

Right-hander Matt Cain, who weathered surgery to remove bone chips and spurs from his right elbow and ankle, likely will start Monday against the Dodgers, manager Bruce Bochy indicated Saturday. Cain steadily has been throwing off a mound and facing hitters in batting practice, but the Giants felt no need to rush his recovery. He's still expected to be physically ready to join the season-opening starting rotation.

Tim Hudson, who underwent right ankle surgery in January, could start either Tuesday against the Padres or Wednesday against the Brewers. As was the case with Cain, the Giants opted to maintain a patient approach to Hudson's recovery.

Right-hander Sergio Romo and left-hander Javier Lopez, who have survived bouts with shoulder discomfort, could pitch as early as Sunday.

"They're ready to go," Bochy said, adding that Romo might need a batting-practice session against Giants hitters before he faces opponents.

"But he doesn't have to," Bochy said.

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.