SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Madison Bumgarner approached Bruce Bochy and jokingly offered his manager a big hug after an offseason apart.
On any other day, Bochy likely would have accepted the warm gesture from his ace pitcher, but two days after the skipper’s left shoulder surgery there was no way that would be their first greeting of spring training. Good thing Bochy’s healing left arm was safely tucked inside his shirt after the Monday procedure to repair a torn labrum, remove painful bone spurs and reattach a biceps tendon that was approximately half torn.
“Bum sees me and he goes, ‘Give me a hug,’” Bochy said Wednesday, noting the pain medication is helping relieve some discomfort. “It was great to see him, it really was. He looks good. It’s such a great time of year. It’s a family that at the end of the season we go our separate ways. It’s always good to get back together and catch up and get back on the ball field. I hadn’t seen Bum since the end of last year so it was great to see him.”
The 60-year-old Bochy had been experiencing pain in his left shoulder since last year that made it difficult to pull on a jacket. He said he had several cortisone injections last season.
“It would kill me,” he said of the pain, sitting in his office chair at Scottsdale Stadium. His pitchers and catchers hold their first workout Thursday in the unseasonable desert heat.
When he couldn’t fully swing at last week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Bochy was advised to undergo an MRI. He then had the arthroscopic surgery, performed by team orthopedist Dr. Ken Akizuki, and Bochy was on a plane to the Arizona desert two hours later.
After missing last weekend’s FanFest at AT&T Park because of slow travel cross-country, Bumgarner showed off a new short haircut and now he’s ready to get going leading a new-look rotation featuring big-money additions Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto.
Not that the 2014 World Series MVP is making bold statements about how good these every-other-year champion Giants can be in a talented NL West.
“It don’t matter to us whether we’re considered the favorites, the underdogs or whatever. We don’t care about that,” said Bumgarner, who drove from North Carolina with at least one horse — “anywhere from one to 10, somewhere in there.”
Bumgarner’s hairstyle change — “I was tired of fooling with it” — is already drawing attention.
“It’s different. It’ll be an adjustment, just like it was an adjustment seeing him with long hair,” said shortstop Brandon Crawford, whose own shaggy ‘do was pulled into a man bun. Crawford acknowledged he is in dire need of a haircut but has been too busy since the recent birth of his third child and first son.
Notes: RHP Matt Cain underwent corrective surgery on both eyes during the offseason after he had trouble reading street signs in the distance. “Maybe that’s why I didn’t hit very good last year,” Cain said with a grin of his 0-for-16 from the plate in an injury-shortened 2015. ... Cueto was scheduled to arrive in the desert Wednesday night. LHP reliever Javier Lopez has had a cold and flu bug for a couple of days but was scheduled to throw Thursday if he feels up to it. ... RHP Santiago Casilla, who has had visa issues in the past, reported on time.