SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants teed off for charity Thursday at the Willie McCovey Golf Classic, raising more than $110,000 for the Giants Community Fund and the Junior Giants program.Held at San Francisco's TPC Harding Park, the classic gave golfers the opportunity to play with Giants alumni, team executives and other celebrities while raising money for charity. Guests included Joe Morgan, Will Clark, Shawn Estes, J.T. Snow, Mark Gardner, Lon Simmons, Vida Blue, Orlando Cepeda and, of course, Willie McCovey, the event's Hall of Fame namesake. The 150 participants were treated to 18 holes of golf, premium tee prizes, lunch from McCovey's Restaurant and Compadres Rio Grille, a reception and an awards dinner, along with the opportunity to meet Giants legends from several decades. The annual tournament is one of the Giants Community Fund's key fundraising events, as proceeds go toward the Junior Giants -- a free, non-competitive baseball program for boys and girls ages 5-18 that reaches more than 17,000 children in California, Nevada and Oregon and provides assistance to community initiatives for education, health and violence prevention. The Community Fund has donated more than $13 million to community programs since 1991.
Whiteside returns from concussion
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants activated catcher Eli Whiteside off the seven-day disabled list Thursday, putting him behind the plate and eighth in the order against the Astros in AT&T Park.Whiteside suffered a concussion a week ago when he slid face-first into second base, but he has participated in all baseball activities the past two days and said he felt fine, though that certainly wasn't the case in the days following the injury. Whiteside said earlier this week he didn't feel like himself for a few days, but he began feeling significantly better the third day after he was hurt. In a corresponding move, catcher Hector Sanchez was optioned to Class A San Jose. Sanchez recorded his first Major League hit during his second callup of the season, and he is all but guaranteed to return once the rosters are expanded after Sept. 1. Sanchez will report to San Jose -- not Triple-A Fresno -- because it is only an hour from San Francisco. "One, he's closer if something happens," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "And he can catch tonight, which we wanted him to do." Sanchez is eligible to return Sept. 4, or as soon as San Jose's season ends.
Wilson throws, return date remains unknown
SAN FRANCISCO -- Brian Wilson played catch for six or seven minutes Thursday afternoon, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, but it's still unlikely that the All-Star closer will be ready to return from the 15-day disabled list when he is eligible on Wednesday.Wilson, nursing an inflamed right elbow, had not thrown since going on the DL Sunday, and he will be evaluated by trainers Friday before deciding the next step in his recovery. As he has since going on the DL, Wilson declined to comment on his recovery. "We haven't ruled it out, but that's going to be tough for him to be ready to go when his time is up," Bochy said. "We'll see where he's at tomorrow and then make a call." The news was far better regarding setup man Sergio Romo, however. After throwing off the mound Wednesday, Romo felt good and will throw an inning in an extended spring training game Friday. The earliest Romo will be activated is Sunday. In the meantime, Bochy will continue to close by committee, but Santiago Casilla made a strong statement that he is capable of doing so Wednesday night. The right-hander tossed a perfect ninth with two strikeouts against the Padres, earning his first save of the season. Bochy also likes lefties Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez, along with right-handers Ramon Ramirez and Guillermo Mota in those late-inning situations, but there is a "good chance" Casilla will be on the mound in a save situation Thursday night. "In that seventh-eighth inning, if I think he's the guy that needs to help us and get him out of a jam, then I'll use him there," Bochy said. "But it was pretty impressive what he did last night, coming in and locating the way he did and having the stuff that he did. That's encouraging to see."
Giants manager Bruce Bochy wasn't ready to name a starter for Saturday's game against the Astros before Thursday's contest, but he repeated that all possibilities are being discussed. That includes a bullpen game started by either lefty Dan Ruzler or right-hander Guillermo Mota, as well as the possibility of Eric Surkamp being called up from Double-A Richmond to make his Major League debut."We haven't ruled out anything," Bochy said. "We're going to do what we think is best for the club to help us win that game." Whoever starts Saturday, they will be filling in the fifth spot in the rotation vacated by injured lefties Barry Zito and Jonathan Sanchez. Zito (right mid-foot sprain) is rehabbing in Arizona, has played long toss and is close to throwing off the mound for the first time, Bochy said. Sanchez (high left ankle sprain) isn't too close to returning, as he is still wearing a walking boot on his left foot. Orlando Cabrera will continue to bat in the leadoff spot for the time being, Bochy said. Cabrera said Wednesday night he suggested the move to Bochy, even if he isn't the ideal or prototypical leadoff hitter. The Giants have discussed several other options in the leadoff spot, including Brandon Belt. The left-handed slugger's mature approach at the plate and high on-base percentage make him an obvious candidate, but Bochy is very pleased with the way Belt has played batting sixth and seventh. While Bochy has taken to Belt batting in the bottom of the order, Belt has taken to his new nickname: "Baby Giraffe." Belt received an ivy-covered miniature giraffe from a fan Thursday, which he held up and petted while reporters snapped camera-phone photos. "I've got to water it a few times a week," Belt said, smiling.
Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.