PHOENIX -- Outfielder Angel Pagan's return to the Giants' lineup was pushed back Saturday.
Before Friday's game, manager Bruce Bochy said Pagan might play Saturday, but the 32-year-old outfielder was out of the lineup for the fifth straight game before the Giants' matchup with the D-backs.
Although Pagan is sitting out another game, Bochy said the team would not place him on the disabled list.
"We're going to hold off. He's really close," Bochy said. "If we [placed him on the DL] then he's probably going to miss another nine games when he could be ready in a couple days."
Pagan has been out with lower back stiffness since Sunday. Gregor Blanco and Juan Perez have played in his place, but Saturday, the Giants sent Perez to Triple-A to make room for infielder Joe Panik, showing that the Giants believe Pagan will return soon.
Bochy said they might let Pagan take it easy during pregame warmups, where he took batting practice and fly balls Friday, because he would not play Saturday.
"We'll give him a day or two and see where we're at," Bochy said. "He's making progress."
Pagan currently leads the Giants in batting average (.307) and is the only player on the team with more than 10 stolen bases.
Since Pagan has been out of the lineup, Blanco has been the Giants' leadoff hitter and has gone 4-for-16.
Adam Lichtenstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less