Hudson adjusts approach in rehab outing

Giants unsure of veteran's role when he returns from DL

Hudson adjusts approach in rehab outing

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants pitcher Tim Hudson, who is working his way back from a right-shoulder strain, fired 2 2/3 scoreless innings in his rehab outing for Class A Advanced San Jose on Friday night.

The right-hander started the game pitching from the windup and switched to the stretch for the last out of the second inning. He came back out for the third inning and treated it as a relief appearance, retiring the final two batters he faced from the stretch.

Hudson has missed 18 games since the Giants placed him on the disabled list retroactive to July 27. He made 17 starts for San Francisco before the injury, but is likely to return to the team as a reliever.

"We have some tough decisions and that's what we're talking about now," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

Hudson said he warmed up closer to gametime to simulate coming out of the bullpen and threw around 30 pitches. The 40-year-old said he was surprised at how comfortable he felt after not facing live hitters since late July.

"I didn't feel as rushed as I thought I would have felt," Hudson said. "I felt ready to pitch. My command was a lot better than I anticipated."

Bochy said he's unsure of what the veteran's next step in the rehabilitation process is, but said it's possible he could face live hitters again before returning to the club.

"Now we've got to figure out what we're going to do with him," Bochy said. "Obviously we don't want him to go too long without facing hitters."

Hudson was 6-8 with a 4.80 ERA in 101 1/3 innings before being placed on the DL.

Worth noting

Mike Leake is scheduled to rejoin the rotation Tuesday in St. Louis and will not be sent on a rehab assignment. The Giants want to make sure they get as many starts this season as they can out of Leake, who was acquired from the Reds prior to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Andrew Susac caught all nine innings Friday night for San Jose and went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run. He's missed 24 games since landing on the disabled list on July 19 with a right-thumb sprain.

Bochy said Susac will catch Saturday night for Triple-A Sacramento, be reevaluated Sunday and might need one or two more games before rejoining the team on the road.

"We'll look at him tonight and he'll probably play another game or two and then we'll make a call," Bochy said.

Oliver Macklin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.