SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A somber Madison Bumgarner rejoined the Giants on Monday, one day after attending the funeral of his half-sister, Dena Byrd, in Granite Falls, N.C. Bumgarner left the team Saturday, two days after Byrd, 36, died of an accidental overdose. "I was OK here when I heard about it," the Giants left-hander said. "I was doing better than I thought. Then I got home and everything kind of hits you and you realize it's for real."
Bumgarner asked fans to send thoughts and prayers to his mother, Debbie, and the rest of the family. Byrd was engaged to be married and had a 16-year-old son, Michael, from a previous marriage. "She was a good girl," Bumgarner said. "I loved her to death. We were pretty close, ever since I was little. Her family's going to miss her and she's gone to a better place now." Bumgarner, San Francisco's top pitching prospect who's a candidate for the No. 5 starting spot, threw off a bullpen mound Monday and is still expected to appear in Wednesday's Cactus League opener against Seattle. For Bumgarner, the workout provided a sanctuary. "I don't want to say I like to run from stuff like that, but I was looking forward to getting back to work," he said. "Once I'm out there on the mound, I don't really think about anything else but what goes on during the game."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.