Ishikawa sidelined several days by back stiffness

Fundamentals elude Giants; starting rotation still under wraps

Ishikawa sidelined several days by back stiffness

MESA, Ariz. -- Giants first baseman/left fielder Travis Ishikawa likely will remain sidelined until Thursday with back stiffness, manager Bruce Bochy said Monday.

After a hot start against Cactus League pitching, Ishikawa's batting .191 (9-for-47) with one homer and six RBIs.

Bochy said Ishikawa was not injured badly enough to influence final roster decisions. The hero of Game 5 of last year's National League Championship Series is likely to make San Francisco's season-opening roster primarily as a left-handed pinch-hitter, though he's expected to receive occasional starts at first base and in left field.

Bochy said that Ishikawa, 31, underwent an MRI that apparently showed no structural damage.

• The Giants were officially charged with one error in their 8-5 Cactus League loss to the Chicago Cubs, though they committed several other mistakes. Example: Tim Hudson flipped a second-inning pickoff attempt to first baseman Joaquin Arias, who wasn't holding the baserunner on the bag. That resulted in a balk and ultimately led to a run.

"We just didn't play good fundamental baseball," Bochy said after the Giants' three-game winning streak dissolved.

Only three Giants regulars were in the lineup -- Gregor Blanco, Joe Panik and Casey McGehee -- which may have contributed to the inelegant performance. Bochy said shortstop Brandon Crawford, center fielder Angel Pagan and catcher Buster Posey would return to the lineup Tuesday against Colorado.

• Bochy declined to confirm the sequence of his season-opening starting rotation and who it will consist of, though any change at this juncture would be a surprise. Madison Bumgarner, who received next Monday's Opening Night assignment at Arizona shortly after Spring Training began, will indeed remain the Giants' No. 1 starter, followed by Jake Peavy, Matt Cain, Hudson and Tim Lincecum.

Ryan Vogelsong, who leads the staff with 19 1/3 innings in six outings (including four starts), remains ready to fill in as an emergency starter if necessary.

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.