Notes: Matheny still hurting

Notes: Matheny still hurting

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants will take their time in bringing catcher Mike Matheny back to action. There is no hurry, no timetable.

While he's known as "Iron Mike" for his job dedication and seeming imperviousness to injury and tiredness, the concussion he incurred last week in Florida on a 100 mph foul tip to his head has left him still in a foggy state, his vision still affected.

Matheny rejoined his teammates Monday, wearing his Giants uniform but admittedly not himself.

"I'm still a little behind, not quite right," said Matheny, who estimated he was rattled by pitches to the head four or five times in less than a week. "Everything is in a fog, and I feel slow, not quite right."

Matheny, on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to last Thursday, remembered getting drilled several times on his mask and helmet Monday against the Marlins, but early in Wednesday's game came the final blow, that shot to the forehead.

"I knew something wasn't right and I was having trouble focusing after being hit a couple of times Monday," said Matheny. "Wednesday put it over the edge. I had no balance, couldn't do what I needed to do. [Getting hit] isn't painful. You go black for a second."

The 34-year-old player thought the Giants were being a bit overprotective when they sent him to the University of Pittsburgh's head-trauma specialist, Dr. Michael Collins, the next day for a battery of tests.

Matheny was wrong.

"[Trainer] Stan Conte took the bull by the horns and sent me there, which was a good decision," said Matheny, who admitted being alarmed when doctors told him continuing to play "would have been a bad decision."

He'll still be monitored by the physicians at Pitt until he fully recovers.

Omar, Barry voting update: The latest balloting results for the 77th All-Star Game in Pittsburgh's PNC Park on July 11 shows Giants shortstop Omar Vizquel still in the running, ranked fifth overall among shortstops with 196,407 votes.

But slugger Barry Bonds remains in eighth place among outfielders with 288,528 votes. The top three are Andruw Jones of the Braves with 582,749, the Mets' Carlos Beltran at 499,693 and Ken Griffey Jr. of the Reds with 479,963.

Vizquel is fifth for the second straight week, with Cardinals shortstop David Eckstein the leader with 396,464 votes. Others in the Top 5 are the Braves' Edgar Renteria at 341,061, Jose Reyes of the Mets with 324,863 and the Phillies' Jimmy Rollins with 282,538.

Other Giants on the ballot are Moises Alou, San Francisco's All-Star representative last year, second baseman Ray Durham, Matheny, outfielder Randy Winn, third baseman Pedro Feliz and first baseman Lance Niekro. None is in the top 10.

Fans can cast votes up to 25 times with Monster online balloting at MLB.com and all 30 club sites, including sfgiants.com. Online balloting ends at 8:59 p.m. PT on June 29. Ballots are also available at AT&T Park.

Wright's call: Veteran right-hander Jamey Wright told pitching coach Dave Righetti he'd volunteer to start Wednesday's 12:35 p.m. PT contest against the Marlins despite throwing on only three days' rest.

The Giants were considering starting Brad Hennessey after scheduled starter Matt Cain's slated effort last Friday was rained out and made up the next day. Wright threw the second game of Saturday's twin bill at Shea Stadium vs. the Mets.

"I've done it before and I don't mind doing it -- it means I get to get out there earlier than I would," said Wright, who held the Mets to two runs over eight innings in the Giants' 3-2 defeat in 11 innings.

"I decided to get back out there if it was OK for them," said Wright.

Alou probable: Alou (severe right ankle sprain) is expected to be activated from the disabled list Tuesday after running on the basepaths and catching flies prior to Monday's contest.

"I might get a couple of lucky hits -- I might come out swinging," laughed Alou, who said it may take a week to be mentally and physically in game shape. "I'm excited and nervous."

Alou hurt himself while chasing a foul ball in Philadelphia on May 5.

It's possible reliever Tim Worrell (neck sprain) will come off the DL Tuesday as well, leaving the Giants with the dilemma of which pitcher to send down to Triple-A Fresno.

Coming up: Right-hander Jason Schmidt (5-2, 2.70 ERA), named Monday as the National League Pitcher of the Month for May -- he went 4-0 with a Majors-leading 1.17 ERA -- faces the Marlins at AT&T Park on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. PT. He'll oppose Florida's Josh Johnson (4-3, 2.42 ERA), the NL Rookie of the Month.

Rich Draper is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.