8/6/2013 10:26 P.M. ET
Kieschnick rewarded with consistent starts
By Alex Espinoza / Special to MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Roger Kieschnick is carving a niche for himself as he wraps up his first week in the big leagues. Tuesday marked the third straight night for Kieschnick in the Giants' starting lineup, as he was batting seventh and playing left field against Milwaukee.
The rookie was coming off a two-hit night and has notched six hits in 17 at-bats (.353) in his five games (four starts) with the Giants. He's also caught the eye of manager Bruce Bochy in the process.
"I think the most impressive thing about Roger right now is he seems comfortable up here," Bochy said. "He's not nervous, he's not in awe of anything. He looks like he's swinging the bat the way he was when he came up here from Fresno."
Kieschnick made his MLB debut July 31 after batting .273/.339/.497 with 13 home runs and 56 RBIs in 101 Triple-A games. After seeing his name in the lineup for a third straight day, Kieschnick was humbled.
"It's definitely an honor," Kieschnick said. "But you got to keep working hard each and every day."
Kieschnick said he's enjoyed being part of a clubhouse filled with so many veterans, adding that he's formed a quick bond with Jeff Francoeur.
"He's a true professional and he's definitely a guy who's helped me out a lot," Kieschnick said.
Pagan should return at start of September
SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy offered an update on injured outfielder Angel Pagan on Tuesday, saying the productive leadoff man is expected to be back in San Francisco by Sept. 1.
The skipper said Pagan, who hasn't played since May 25 due to a strained hamstring that required surgery, has resumed baseball activities like running and hitting in Arizona. Bochy said he had a text-message conversation with Pagan on Tuesday afternoon and that Pagan is progressing well.
"He's coming around. He's actually doing quite well," Bochy said. "He'll have to do some games here -- I don't know when we'll start that -- but it's good to hear that he's upbeat and he'll be playing in September."
Pagan was a key spark plug in the Giants' offense in their stretch run to the 2012 World Series title and started the season as the team's leadoff hitter. He was signed to a four-year, $45 million deal this offseason and was batting .262/.314/.374 with three homers, 24 RBIs and 30 runs at the time of his injury.
Bochy has struggled to find a consistent leadoff option ever since Pagan left, especially noting the lack of production in recent days. On Monday night, Marco Scutaro went 0-for-5 as the No. 1 hitter, but Bochy said Scutaro will stay as the leadoff man for the time being.
Giants pass on Minor League deal with Lilly
SAN FRANCISCO -- Hours before the Giants faced the Brewers at AT&T Park, the team announced it would not be pursuing an expected Minor League deal with free-agent southpaw Ted Lilly.
Through a team spokesman, Giants vice president and assistant general manager Bobby Evans said, "Upon reviewing Ted Lilly's medical history, we're going to hold off on pursuing a Minor League contract right now."
The Giants had been linked to the 37-year-old southpaw, as he was reportedly scheduled to start for their Triple-A affiliate in Fresno on Tuesday night. Lilly was released by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday after being designated for assignment July 25 and has spent parts of the past two seasons on the disabled list with neck problems.
"I think it was pretty much done, pending the physical," Bochy said. "From what I've heard, there's some concerns there."
Bochy said the plan was to look at Lilly for a few games at Fresno before determining if he was fit to join the Giants' staff.
"It was basically a free look to see where he's at," Bochy said. "You're talking about an experienced big league pitcher with a real nice career."
At the time of his release, Lilly toted an 0-2 record with a 5.09 ERA and 1.61 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) in five starts. He's spent the past three-plus seasons with the Dodgers and is currently in the 15th year of his MLB career, with a lifetime mark of 130-113 and a 4.14 ERA.
Though Ryan Vogelsong is set to return to the rotation Friday, the Giants have recently moved Guillermo Moscoso to the No. 5 starter spot while sending Barry Zito to the bullpen. Meanwhile, former reliever Chad Gaudin has proved to be arguably the Giants' most consistent pitcher all year, as he lowered his ERA to 2.56 on Monday night with a strong start.
• Bochy was voted as the National League's best skipper by his peers in the 2013 MLB Best Tools survey announced by Baseball America on Tuesday.
"I find that hard to believe where I'm at right now," Bochy joked about the award and his team's last-place standing in the NL West. "It's a little humbling with the tough go that we've had."
The NL managers also voted Buster Posey as the best hitter and the third-best catcher.
"He's very well-respected," Bochy said of Posey.
Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.