Aoki to start rehab, could return vs. A's

Machi designated for assignment; Affeldt close to activation

Aoki to start rehab, could return vs. A's

SAN DIEGO -- Giants left fielder Nori Aoki will begin an injury rehabilitation assignment Tuesday with Triple-A Sacramento, and manager Bruce Bochy said he could rejoin the Major League club as soon as Friday.

"If all goes well," Bochy said Monday.

That was the case Monday, as Aoki took early batting practice at Petco Park and, Bochy reported, passed all of his on-field tests.

Aoki was a contender to be elected to the National League's starting lineup for the All-Star Game when he was hit by a pitch from Dodgers right-hander Carlos Frias on June 20. That fractured Aoki's right fibula, forced him onto the disabled list and left him with a .317 batting average and .383 on-base percentage in 67 games.

• The Giants designated right-hander Jean Machi for assignment to create roster room for right-hander Tim Hudson, who started Monday night's series opener against the Padres. Machi, 33, led San Francisco with 71 appearances last year while posting a 7-1 record with a 2.58 ERA. This season, however, Machi's command suffered as his ERA ballooned to 5.14 in 33 games. He had 14 walks and 22 strikeouts in 35 innings. Moreover, Machi's WHIP (walks and hits per inning) soared from 0.950 last year to 1.486 this season.

"I think the world of Mach," Bochy said. "I told him that."

• Though left-hander Jeremy Affeldt pitched two scoreless innings Sunday night in his injury rehab stint with Triple-A Sacramento, Bochy said it looked "doubtful" that the reliever would be activated during this series.

"We just want to make sure he's ready," Bochy said.

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