San Francisco Giants ace left-hander Madison Bumgarner threw a bullpen session Monday night and is nearing a return from pinkie surgery.
Manager Bruce Bochy said Bumgarner threw 20 fastballs in a scheduled side session and will throw 30 pitches Wednesday before a third bullpen session on Saturday. If all goes well, Bumgarner will progress to a simulated game during the team’s road trip — likely in Houston — next week. The final step is a rehab assignment likely to consist of two starts.
Bumgarner was hurt March 23 when struck by a line drive while pitching in a spring training game. Sheridan subsequently inserted three pins into the hand.
Bochy said the only concern moving ahead is building stamina. A return to the rotation is expected in early June.
“We’re not dealing with any kind of arm injury,” Bochy said. “It’s the finger. That’s why he’s letting it go the way he is now. If you watched him in the bullpen (Monday), you’d think he’s making his next start.”
Bumgarner, 28, is coming off the worst season of his career. Missing half of the year due to a dirt-bike accident that caused bruised ribs and a sprained pitching shoulder, he wound up 4-9 with a 3.32 ERA in 17 starts.
“Last year was obviously my fault. Those emotions are a little different,” Bumgarner said. “This year it was just a freak thing on the last day of spring, and such a small thing at that. … I’m definitely ready to get back out there.”
For his career, Bumgarner is 104-76 with a 3.01 ERA in nine years with the Giants. He was the National League Championship Series MVP and the World Series MVP in 2014.