Duffy steps up running; Panik takes break

Duffy steps up running; Panik takes break

NEW YORK -- The Giants continue to feel encouraged by the progress of third baseman Matt Duffy, who could begin a Minor League injury rehabilitation stint within a week, manager Bruce Bochy said Friday.

Recovering from a left Achilles injury, Duffy is running more frequently and freely. Currently working out at the Giants' training facility in Scottsdale, Ariz., Duffy hasn't played since June 19.

Giants general manager Bobby Evans clarified Bochy's remarks about second baseman Joe Panik, who didn't play for Triple-A Sacramento on Thursday because "he wasn't feeling great." That did not mean that Panik's concussion symptoms returned, Evans said. It simply meant Panik needed to slow down the rate of his baseball-related activities.

"The pace was picking up pretty fast in terms of the number of games and ground balls," Evans said of Panik, who's likely to return to the Triple-A lineup Saturday. Repeating the mantra of the injured, Evans added, "We don't want them to do what they can do. We want them to be able to do what they should do."

Right fielder Hunter Pence, who went 2-for-3 with a double and a home run Thursday in his second game for Sacramento, was expected to rest Friday and will resume playing Saturday.

Right-hander Cory Gearrin (shoulder), who's training alongside Duffy in Scottsdale, threw his first bullpen session Thursday.

• Bochy issued the final word on using Jarrett Parker as Friday's designated hitter for the series opener against the New York Yankees, instead of allowing Madison Bumgarner, the robust-swinging pitcher, to bat for himself: "It's pretty hot. I don't want my pitcher running."

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. 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.