Brian Wilson making progress from oblique injury

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According to Andrew Baggarly of San Jose Mercury News, Brian Wilson threw approximately 30 pitches in a five-minute bullpen session earlier today in Los Angeles.

Wilson, who was placed on the disabled list yesterday with a left oblique strain, was able to throw with “apparent maximum effort.”

How’s the oblique feeling, by the way?

“It’s attached. It’s well. It says hi.”

I can almost imagine Wilson talking to his oblique like Gene did with that can of vegetables in “Wet Hot American Summer.”

Anyway, the next step is for Wilson to appear in a simulated game or live batting practice situation. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he’ll need to do that twice before being activated from the disabled list, which makes it unlikely that he’ll be back prior to the Giants’ home opener on April 8. Because Wilson’s DL-stint was backdated, he is eligible to return as soon as April 6.

Bochy plans to use Sergio Romo, Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez in save situations until the bearded one is ready to return.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. lays out to make a great catch in deep right-center field

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Cubs center fielder Albert Almora, Jr. robbed Giants first baseman Brandon Belt of at least a double in the top of the first inning of Monday’s game at Wrigley Field. Almora completely left his feet to catch the ball before landing just shy of the warning track.

The Giants took the early lead two batters prior to Belt’s at-bat as Joe Panik hit a solo home run to center field.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.