Melancon should be ready to return Tuesday

Melancon should be ready to return Tuesday

SAN FRANCISCO -- While he continues to play mix-and-match with the back end of his bullpen, Giants manager Bruce Bochy is optimistic that injured closer Mark Melancon will be ready to rejoin the team next week.

Melancon went on the 10-day disabled list this past Tuesday with a mild right pronator strain. The move was retroactive to Saturday, meaning the 32-year-old right-hander is eligible to come off next Tuesday when the Giants are in the midst of a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Bochy is hopeful Melancon will be ready to go.

"I'm being optimistic here, but if this was last week in September, he wouldn't be on the DL," Bochy said before the Giants opened a four-game series at AT&T Park against the Cincinnati Reds. "He probably could throw. Sure, it would probably be a little risk. That's why we put him on the disabled list now. My hope is these seven days, 10 days total, this will help clear this up and we'll get this behind us for the rest of the year.

"He's been pitching with it. It just gradually got a little worse, so it's time to try to get it cleared up."

With his closer on the mend, Bochy said it would be an all-hands-on-deck approach in the bullpen. Right-hander Derek Law, who got the save Sunday against the Mets, seems the most likely candidate, but Bochy plans to keep his options open.

"We'll use Law and mix in some left-handers and [Hunter] Strickland," Bochy said. "I think they all know that they should be ready to go -- Law, Strickland in particular. With the job [Steven] Okert's been doing, you can put him in that mix, too, depending on who's coming up."

Michael Wagaman is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Giants on Thursday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.