Three injured Giants make progress
Martinez cleared for physical activity; Torres close to return
SAN FRANCISCO -- Although the line drive that left right-hander Joe Martinez's skull with three hairline fractures was among the scarier moments in recent Giants history, it's been a fairly good year for the club on the health front.
Martinez himself represented good news Monday, and San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy provided positive updates on two of his other three disabled players -- right-handed reliever Sergio Romo and outfielder Andres Torres.
Prior to the opener of a three-game series against the visiting Nationals at AT&T Park, Martinez said a visit to a local neurologist Friday prompted clearance for him to engage in physical activity for the first time since being felled by a shot off the bat of Milwaukee's Mike Cameron on April 10.
"I don't know exactly what they'll start me with yet; all I've really done since it happened is do a lot of walking," Martinez said. "It's going to take awhile to go through the whole progression because you get deconditioned pretty quickly when you're out, but I feel great."
Romo, on the disabled list since March 26 with a sprained right elbow, threw 2 1/3 innings in an extended spring training game Monday.
"The plan was for him to throw 1 1/3, but he'd only thrown 10 pitches, so we let him go another inning," said Bochy, who also noted that Torres, on the DL since April 28 with a strained left hamstring, ran the bases Monday.
The next step for Romo and Torres is a Minor League rehab assignment, likely to begin Thursday. It hasn't yet been decided if they'll go to Class A San Jose or Triple-A Fresno, but Bochy made it clear that Torres is closer to being activated.
"We still have a couple of boxes to check off [with Romo]," said the skipper. "He's not ready."
Martinez, who hopes to travel with the team while rehabbing, is probably at least a month from a possible return. He made the team out of Spring Training in part because of Romo's injury and isn't guaranteed a spot on the Major League roster when he's cleared for activation.
Wherever he ends up, Martinez is fairly certain that that he won't take the mound worried about another beaning. When the Padres were in town last month, he spoke to San Diego's Chris Young, who missed five weeks last season after being hit in the face by an Albert Pujols liner.
"He talked about needing to be patient and how, psychologically, it didn't really affect him when he came back," Martinez said. "I don't think it'll affect me, either. Getting hit in the head just isn't something you think about on the mound. Too many other things you need to keep your focus on."
Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.