Aoki's return imminent pending medical check

Aoki's return imminent pending medical check

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants left fielder Nori Aoki could rejoin the lineup as soon as Monday if team doctors consider him physically satisfactory during an examination Sunday.

Aoki, who sustained a fractured right fibula when he was hit by a pitch by Los Angeles' Carlos Frias on June 20, was expected to be checked thoroughly by the club's medical staff. Aoki hit .231 (3-for-13) in the first four games of his injury rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Sacramento, including 2-for-3 with a run scored Saturday.

"If all is well, he'll be activated tomorrow," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Sunday.

Aoki hit by pitch, leaves game

Bochy declined to say whether Aoki would reclaim the leadoff spot once he's activated. However, Aoki hit leadoff in all 63 games he started before being sidelined. Asked if Aoki might bat elsewhere except first, Bochy affirmed, "I'm not putting him anywhere right now."

Center fielder Angel Pagan has performed adequately at leadoff in Aoki's absence, batting .292 in 21 starts at the top of the order. But his on-base and slugging percentages in those games were only .326 and .337, respectively. By comparison, Aoki had a .382 on-base percentage and a .377 slugging average when he was sidelined.

• Bochy effusively praised left-hander Randy Johnson, who was enshrined in baseball's Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, N.Y., on Sunday. Johnson spent 2009, the final season of his illustrious career, with San Francisco.

"I enjoyed my time with him," Bochy said. "He helped our young pitchers at the time -- [Matt] Cain, [Tim] Lincecum, Jonathan Sanchez. I thought they watched and learned from him."

Chris Haft is a reporter for 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.