SAN DIEGO–The Giants put pitcher Johnny Cueto through a rigorous on-field test on Saturday, and manager Bruce Bochy was pleased to report Cueto received a passing grade.
Cueto is on the 10-day disabled list with a left ankle sprain, but hes eligible to return to the rotation Tuesday when the Giants play the Diamondbacks in Arizona.
The right-hander threw 20 pitches in a live batting practice setting at Petco Park Saturday while also testing the mobility of his ankle coming off the mound.
He took a bullpen, he threw to hitters, we had him cover first and field bunts, Bochy said. It all went well today so well see how he comes out of it tomorrow.
The Giants are hopeful Cueto can start Tuesdays game, and Bochy said it looks like a go.
Cueto was pleased with the progress he showed Saturday, and indicated he doesnt have concerns about helping his defense out.
I think I should be able to field my position, Cueto said. Everything today was to test the ankle.
Cueto said his ankle is improving every day and that he no longer feels as much pain moving side to side. He initially injured the ankle doing cardio drills at the Giants workout facility last weekend.
Giants considering a lineup change
After facing a pair of right-handers in the first two games of a four-game set in San Diego, the Giants will battle lefties on back-to-back days to round out the series.
Bochy said hes resting left fielder Hunter Pence and giving first baseman Brandon Belt the day off after Belt reached base three times in Fridays loss.
Gorkys Hernandez, who is 7-for-11 in his career against Padres starter Clayton Richard, will start in Pences place. Nick Hundley will catch Derek Holland and Buster Posey will slide over to play first base.
Bochy slotted Hundley fifth in the batting order, bumping third baseman Evan Longoria down a spot after Longoria went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts Friday.
The Giants skipper said its possible Longoria will continue to hit sixth when the Giants face another right-hander, so that Bochy can break up a block of right-handed hitters in the middle of the order.
I may break up the stacked right handers and move (Brandon Crawford) in there against righties, Bochy said. Just to break it up a little bit.
The Giants left spring training hopeful that Andrew McCutchen, Posey and Longoria would form a formidable heart of the order, but the offense has scored one run or fewer in seven of the teams 13 games.
What the lineup looks like
1. Austin Jackson CF
2. Joe Panik 2B
3. Andrew McCutchen RF
4. Buster Posey 1B
5. Nick Hundley C
6. Evan Longoria 3B
7. Gorkys Hernandez LF
8. Brandon Crawford SS
9. Derek Holland P