December 9, 2022

Giants reliever José Álvarez hopes cortisone shot will prevent elbow surgery

San Francisco Giants reliever José Álvarez still hopes to avoid elbow surgery and potentially throw again this year, and to that end he received a cortisone injection on Wednesday night.

Álvarez got a second opinion from famed orthopedist Dr. Keith Meister, who provided the same advice: try to rehabilitate the elbow, so the plan is to rest for a few weeks and then start a throwing program. “If there is still pain, we will make a decision then,” he said.

Álvarez said he underwent a bone spurs cleaning procedure on his elbow in 2014 and the recovery time was around three months.

Elbow discomfort has factored into Álvarez’s poor results this season; he allowed 17 hits, nine walks, three home runs and nine runs in 15 ⅓ innings.

“When you throw with pain, it sometimes happens,” Álvarez said. “Most of the time the ball doesn’t come out the way you want because you feel like a restriction. So I tried to hold on a bit more, but I couldn’t do anything.

Alvarez, 33, had a strong 2021 for the Giants, going 5-2 with a 2.37 ERA in relief, and just two home runs in 67 outings.

Junis sooner than later? : Manager Gabe Kapler said before Friday’s game that starter Jakob Junis (hamstring) could be an option for the Giants this weekend rather than going to rehab.

The Giants name Alex Cobb as Saturday’s starter and Logan Webb for Sunday’s game. There’s no reason to suspect any changes there, but the San Francisco bullpen is a bit overstretched, with the only days off all month coming at next week’s break, in plus they had a bullpen game Wednesday and five innings to cover Thursday.

Several relievers were unavailable Friday. Although Kapler did not list them, John Brebbia and Camilo Doval were to be among them. If an extra arm was needed, Junis — the team’s top starter in May — came out of the bullpen.

Briefly: Evan Longoria (oblique) was scheduled to play Triple-A Sacramento third base on Friday. He remains a potential option for the Giants ahead of the break. … Starter Matthew Boyd (flexor tendon) resumed his pitching program on Friday. … Receiver Curt Casali (oblique) has started a running program. … Reliever Zack Littell (slant) will start a pitching program this weekend. … Starter Anthony DeSclafani is recovering from surgery July 12 to stabilize his right peroneal tendon; he is out for the season.

Susan Slusser covers the Giants for The San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected]: @susanslusser