During the broadcast this evening, Dave Flemming reported that Madison Bumgarner and Mark Melancon both threw the ball today and looked good doing so. The beat writers mentioned before the game that Melancon is eligible to return May 25th and had already circled that date for his return. Bumgarner is expected back mid-June.
Before I go into it about Melancon, behold this gif of Bumgarner (with Melancon barely visible behind him):
Look at his back. He’s in shape. He’s ready to go. Not only did he look good to the trainers and coaching staff, he looked good, as in baseball shape. There’s always a chance a player on the shelf lets himself go and it’s hard to stay in peak condition when you’re limited in what you can actually do. Then again, it’s a lot easier to stay in peak condition when you’re not traveling and keeping odd baseball hours.
Meanwhile, the Mark Melancon prognosis and expected return date feel like pure fantasy. There’s absolutely no reason to disbelieve the people involved here, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with player optimism about their health, but his specific type of injury all but guarantees a return to trip to the DL for an extended period of time. The Giants are just going to need his 7-12 days of availability to coincide with times when they badly need his services — and, of course, those services need to be equivalent to his talent ceiling.
The Melancon situation feels like it’s kind of a mess, but maybe I just need to chill out.