Nearly three months after Madison Bumgarner’s season came to a halt during a day off in Colorado, the Giants ace left-hander is ready to get back on a Major League mound.
Bumgarner is prepared to start for the San Francisco Giants on Saturday against the San Diego Padres.
“To me, I’m going to plan on that. … Just as long as everything goes the way it should the next four days,” Bumgarner said.
The 2014 World Series Most Valuable Player finished his rehab phase here with the Giants’ Class A Advanced affiliate on Monday. He allowed two hits and struck out eight in six innings, throwing 86 pitches. It was his second start at Class A; he allowed four homers and nine runs last time out.
Bumgarner said he will throw a bullpen session on Wednesday, probably at AT&T Park.
“Treated today a little bit like the last game of spring,” said Bumgarner, who allowed two hits against the Mariners’ Class A Advanced Modesto affiliate. “You start to lock it in and make pitches. Felt good with that. We didn’t miss many spots today.”
Bumgarner’s fastball topped out at 90 mph. He mixed in more offspeed offerings on Monday than he did in his previous two Minor League starts, he said.
The 27-year-old said he had no setback. Bumgarner credited the Giants’ training staff in guiding him back to the mound after he sustained bruised ribs and a Grade 2 shoulder acromioclavicular strain.
“All our guys did a really good job in taking care of me and researching that injury,” Bumgarner said. “It’s not really something that happens a lot in baseball. … I couldn’t be happier with where it’s at, really. Any time you have something in your throwing arm, especially in your shoulder, it can be pretty scary.”
Bumgarner breezed through the Modesto Nuts’ lineup, throwing back-to-back 12-pitch innings to open the game. Bumgarner recorded 19 pitches in the fourth, his longest inning by pitch count. His lone walk came in the third.
As luck would have it, Bumgarner’s final rehab start came on the eve of the 2017 MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard. A four-time All-Star, Bumgarner probably had a chance to join batterymate Buster Posey in Miami. Instead, Bumgarner pitched alongside the Giants’ Class A Advanced prospects.
Nevertheless, fans at San Jose’s game — many wearing Bumgarner jerseys — embraced his outing by again selling out the ballpark.
“I tried to make the best of it,” Bumgarner said. “I had a good time while I was here.”
Bumgarner’s return to San Francisco’s rotation should infuse some energy into what has been an uncharacteristically lackluster season.
“[I’m] ready to help contribute, like I should have been doing this whole time,” Bumgarner said.