Marco Scutaro at the Giants 2012 World Series Parade.
Photo by Michael Marconi via Flickr
San Francisco Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro's return to full baseball activity has been pushed back for at least another week, according to Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.
The Giants originally planned for Scutaro to play this weekend, but Bruce Bochy told CSN Bay Area that will not happen. In fact, Bochy acknowledged the club might have to make alternative plans for Opening Day if Scutaro is not ready to play soon.
“If you ask me at the end of next week and he’s not playing or close to playing, we’ll have to have another plan here,” Bochy said after Friday's 5-0 win over the Kansas City Royals.
The Giants planned to limit Scutaro's spring training anyway as he recovers from chronic back and hip issues which hampered him last year, but Bochy said he would like Scutaro to get at least 30 to 35 at-bats before the season starts.
As the calendar turns towards April with no Scutaro playing in exhibition games, the likelihood of him starting at second base on March 31 in Arizona is becoming less and less.
Joaquin Arias or Tony Abreu would probably get the nod on Opening Day if Scutaro is not ready to go, although infielder Ehire Adrianza has opened some eyes in the infield this spring.
But don't tell Scutaro he won't be ready when the bell rings. He told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle Friday he will be ready for Opening Day because he has seen improvement with his back.
And his bat would be hard to replace in the second spot of the batting order. Scutaro hit .297 with a .357 OBP last season in 127 games, playing many of those games with an injured finger.
The good news, as Scutaro told the Chronicle, is there's still three weeks left in the Cactus League season. If Scutaro is not close to returning by this time next week, Brian Sabean may need to explore adding more depth to the position via trade.