Notes: Bonds says legs feel better

Notes: Bonds says legs feel better

PHOENIX -- Barry Bonds announced Wednesday that his sore legs were feeling better, but admitted that he might have to begin icing them more regularly after games to keep himself on the field.

Bonds did not start in left field for the second game in a row against the Diamondbacks but expected to be in Thursday's lineup. He also declared himself "definitely" fit to pinch-hit. "I can always swing a bat," he said.

Bonds said that his leg soreness had "just kept escalating" since the Giants' three-city trip began last Tuesday in New York. Despite resting last Monday (May 29) during the team's scheduled off-day and limiting himself to pinch-hitting the next night, Bonds developed shin splints for the first time in his life and began feeling discomfort in his surgically repaired knees.

"I took the day off in New York, but I just never recovered," said Bonds, who turns 43 on July 24. "I'm not young anymore. This stuff's going to happen."

Taking last Sunday off in Philadelphia didn't relieve Bonds, either. "Normally one day helps," he said. Monday, Bonds started and made his now-infamous tortured journey from first base to third on Ray Durham's fifth-inning double.

"You guys saw me try to go first to third," he said. "You hit a ball in the gap and they're trying to throw you out going to third base. Either you're real tired or in a lot of pain. The pain was overwhelming."

Bonds said that he had stopped taking prednisone, which is prescribed to treat arthritis. "Normally I take my prednisone; I haven't done it all year," he said. "Normally I take it to keep the swelling out of my body as I got older. I forgot about it. We all forgot about it."

Prednisone is a corticosteroid -- not an anabolic steroid, which are at the heart of baseball's performance-enhancing drug controversy that has enveloped Bonds.

Bonds has improved partly by working out every morning at a health club since arriving here with Harvey Shields and Greg Oliver, his personal trainers who are no longer allowed in the Giants' clubhouse. "We've been able to do some things to get back on track," Bonds said.

To avoid further bouts of extreme soreness, Bonds indicated that he will undergo postgame treatment, which he tends to skip.

"I don't like to go into the training room. That's something I'm going to have to do, too," Bonds said. "[Giants trainer Dave] Groeschner told me, 'Barry, you're always getting out of here right away. You need to ice after games and stuff like that.'"

Taking such preventative measures was something Giants manager Bruce Bochy suggested last week in the wake of general manager Brian Sabean's remark that certain players must do a better job of staying on the field.

Bochy endorsed Bonds' plan. "Anything we can do to get these guys feeling better and back on the field -- that's what we're all here for," Bochy said.

Ortiz to DL? Bochy said that there's "a good possibility" that Russ Ortiz's strained right forearm will force the starter-turned-reliever to return to the 15-day disabled list.

Ortiz played catch on Wednesday for the first time since injuring himself Monday. However, Bochy said, "He felt like he couldn't let it go."

Allowing Ortiz to mend while staying on the active roster doesn't seem to be an option. After using three relievers Monday and four Tuesday, Bochy is concerned about taxing his bullpen.

"We're not in a position to go without another pitcher too much longer," Bochy said.

A leading candidate to replace Ortiz would be right-hander Scott Munter, who already has been recalled once from Triple-A Fresno. Right-hander Billy Sadler and left-hander Pat Misch also would be possibilities.

Not left out: Utilityman Kevin Frandsen sparkled on Tuesday in his first career start in left field. He threw out Arizona's Randy Johnson, who tried to advance from first to third on Eric Byrnes' long fourth-inning single. Two innings later, Frandsen saved a run with a diving catch of Orlando Hudson's popup.

Frandsen said that he drew upon his background as an infielder to enable him to cope with a different spot.

"It helps playing the infield, and playing a lot more shortstop as of late, in trying to think more of those situations -- so you're almost thinking from an infielder's standpoint, 'Where the ball's going, what the possibilities are and can I keep the double play in order?'" he said.

Coming up: The Giants conclude the Arizona series and their three-city, 10-game trip on Thursday at Phoenix's Chase Field. Noah Lowry, who's 5-1 in eight lifetime appearances against the Diamondbacks, will oppose ex-Giant Livan Hernandez at 6:40 p.m. PT.

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