San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Santiago Casilla is inching closer to a return to the big leagues while he makes his first rehab assignment on Sunday. The right-hander will start the game for Single-A San Jose, but will only appear in one inning and throw 20 pitches. It is certainly a good start for the veteran, who is working very hard to be activated off the disabled list.
The 32-year-old has not appeared in a game since May 20 after he was forced to undergo surgery to remove a cyst from his knee. At this point, the Giants will take their time with Casilla to make sure he is perfectly healthy when he returns. The last thing the organization needs is for one of their top relievers to miss more time than necessary.
“We’ll evaluate him after each inning, see where he’s at, how he feels,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, according to SFGiants.com. “He could be ready as soon as the next homestand if all goes well.”
San Francisco is hoping for Casilla to return as early as July 4, but there is certainly no rush. Considering the team is currently on a six-game losing streak, they cannot afford to be fielding players who are not at 100 percent.
Casilla has been outstanding for the Giants this season as he has posted a 3-2 record with a 1.89 earned run average, 16 strikeouts and six holds in 19 innings. Not having him available for the past month has certainly been brutal for the bullpen.