Giants to be careful with Lincecum

Giants to be careful with Lincecum

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Tim Lincecum is being scratched from his scheduled start Monday against Colorado, but there's no cause for alarm over his health.

Manager Bruce Bochy wants to guarantee that Lincecum, who lasted only two innings while throwing 55 pitches in his previous start Wednesday against San Diego, can work at least five innings to help him build durability for the regular season. So instead of taking the 2 1/2-hour bus ride to Tucson -- which could aggravate the groin strain that forced the Giants to delay Lincecum's last outing -- the right-hander will fill his innings requirement that day under controlled conditions in a Minor League exhibition.

Bochy announced Saturday that Matt Palmer, who finished 11-8 at Triple-A Fresno last season, will be summoned from Minor League camp to face the Rockies instead.

Bochy is closely monitoring catcher Bengie Molina, who's moving carefully on the left quadriceps that sidelined him until last week. But Bochy isn't babying the veteran. Bochy said that Molina will rest Sunday, play Monday and, after Tuesday's scheduled off-day, play three games in a row.

In the Giants' 14-8 split-squad victory over Seattle, Molina declined to try to take second base on a ball he hit into the left-field corner and jogged to first base on a seventh-inning grounder that other players might have tried to beat out. The latter incident prompted booing from many in the Scottsdale Stadium crowd of 11,993, who were likely unaware of Molina's prior injury.

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"We don't want any setbacks," Bochy said, absolving Molina.

Molina, San Francisco's projected cleanup hitter, is batting .533 (8-for-15) in six games. He went 2-for-4 with an RBI against Seattle.

Bochy plans to rest left fielder Dave Roberts, whose left knee is inflamed, for the next two games. Combined with Tuesday's off-day, that will give Roberts a three-day break. Bochy wanted Roberts to rest on Saturday, but the 35-year-old wanted some at-bats and went 1-for-2 in the Giants' 10-2 split-squad loss to Oakland. Roberts is batting .314 (11-for-35) in 13 games.

Right-hander Vinnie Chulk, who has been nursing tendinitis in his pitching shoulder, will try throwing lightly Sunday. Chulk, who owns a 3.60 ERA in five appearances, hasn't pitched since last Monday against Kansas City.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.