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Bochy backing off struggling reliever Mijares

Bochy backing off struggling reliever Mijares

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Friday that he'll probably back off of using Jose Mijares as the first left-hander out of the bullpen, due to the reliever's recent struggles.

Mijares entered Friday having allowed 42.2 percent (19 of 45) of his inherited runners to score, an alarmingly high rate. That 19-run total is the highest in the Majors. Opponents are batting .322 off Mijares, the third-highest average among NL relievers. That includes a .593 (16-for-27) average with runners in scoring position in his last 12 appearances.

Consequently, Bochy said, "I might try to give Mijares a break."

Jeremy Affeldt's groin injury, which has sidelined him since July 21, has forced the Giants to rely excessively on Mijares. Affeldt continued his recovery Friday by throwing his second session of live batting practice, but Bochy didn't sound ready to activate the 12-year veteran from the disabled list.

"He looked a little rusty," Bochy said, adding that Affeldt will need to throw to hitters at least once more before being reinstated. "He looked a little hesitant, I thought, to let it go."

As a result, Bochy said that rookie left-hander Mike Kickham might receive more opportunities to pitch. Kickham, who started full-time this year with Triple-A Fresno, has made scoreless one-inning appearances in each of his last two outings.

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

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