Posted on July 11, 2017, by Bryan Zarpentine
Nearly three months after suffering an injury while riding a dirt bike, Madison Bumgarner is finally ready to rejoin the San Francisco Giants. Bumgarner suffered bruised ribs and a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder when he fell off a dirt bike on April 20. But after more than two months of rest and four minor league rehab starts, Bumgarner will be activated from the DL when the second half of the season gets underway this weekend. The lefty is hoping to start Saturday when the Giants face the Padres.
“I’m ready to help contribute like I should’ve been doing this whole time,” Bumgarner told reporters after throwing 86 pitches in a rehab game Monday night. “It sucks. I put myself in this spot. I wish I wouldn’t have. I’ve tried to make the best of it and still am.”
Monday’s rehab start was a successful one for Bumgarner. He struck out eight and allowed just two hits over six innings of work. However, his rehab outings as a whole were not all that impressive. In four starts across three different levels of the minors, Bumgarner threw 16.2 innings and posted an ERA of 7.02. Nevertheless, he’s satisfied with his rehab and believes he’s ready to return to the Giants.
“All our guys did a really good job in taking care of me and researching that injury,” Bumgarner said. “It’s not really something that happens a lot in baseball. … I couldn’t be happier with where it’s at, really. Anytime you have something in your throwing arm, especially in your shoulder, it can be pretty scary.”
Of course, Bumgarner is returning to a team that is miles from playoff contention. The Giants have the second worst record in baseball with just 34 wins. San Francisco is 22 games under .500 and 27 games out of first place. But none of that matters to Bumgarner; he’s just excited to be back on the mound after his injury.
“Doesn’t matter whether we were winning every game or we lost every game,” says the lefty. “It’s not going to change the fact that I want to be out there.”
Bumgarner’s teammates are also excited to have him back, believing he’ll make a difference, even in the middle of a lost season.
“His start days are obviously important, but so will having his presence back,” said Giants all-star catcher Buster Posey. “When other teams come into a series knowing they have to face him one day, it just lengthens the rotation so much.”
Prior to the injury, Bumgarner was 0-3 with a 3.00 ERA over the course of four starts. The long absence will prevent him from competing for any postseason hardware, and obviously, the Giants won’t be relevant in the second half playoff race. However, following an injury to his pitching shoulder, it’s important for Bumgarner to get back on the mound. He needs to prove that he’s healthy and remind all of baseball that he’s one of the best pitchers in the game. He also needs to prove to the Giants that he’s still their ace.
But more than anything, Bumgarner wants to atone for the mistake he made by getting hurt away from the field. He knows he made a mistake by riding the dirt bike, and there’s little doubt that he’ll return to the Giants pitching with a little bit of an edge to help make up for it.