GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- A day after facing hitters in batting practice, Ryan Vogelsong felt good about his outing and looked forward to his Cactus League debut this weekend as he works to make the Opening Day roster as a member of the Giants' rotation.
"As long as we don't have any setbacks, everything should be good," Vogelsong said Wednesday. "I don't see anything setting me back. We've tested this thing pretty hard over the last three weeks."
Vogelsong is recovering from a strained back suffered during a regular part of his offseason workout on Feb. 7. He's trying to keep his debut inning as simple as possible. Manager Bruce Bochy penciled him in for Saturday's split-squad game at home against the Rockies.
"Just get back in the game speed," Vogelsong said of his goal for the outing. "Get my mind working again for game situations. Throwing strikes. Hopefully nobody gets on base, but if somebody gets on, go into that: holding runners, thinking about the things you need to do, get over, covering first base. Stuff that you deal with in the game."
Vogelsong is battling the clock as he works to join a projected rotation with Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner and Barry Zito. If he pitches Saturday and comes back on four or five days' rest for his subsequent appearances, Vogelsong has time to make three appearances before the Giants open the season April 6 vs. the D-backs in Phoenix.
Bochy hopes to get Vogelsong up to five innings by the time the season starts, but with the potential to use only four starters with an off-day scheduled for the fifth day of the season, Bochy may be trying to find extra work for Vogelsong between the close of the Cactus League and his first appearance in the regular season.
"It's one of those things that we'll just have to see when we do it," Vogelsong said. "See where my pitches are at. See where my stamina's at. In-game stamina is something that that you can't replicate in bullpens and live BP. I think that's the big thing."