SAN FRANCISCO -- All news on the injury front was good Monday for Giants first baseman Brandon Belt and reliever Santiago Casilla.
Belt took ground balls at first base for the first time since breaking his left thumb May 9. The pins that were inserted after his surgery were removed late last week. Manager Bruce Bochy estimated Belt could return to the lineup in two to three weeks.
Belt is hitting .264 with nine homers and 18 RBIs in 35 games this season.
Bochy said Belt will again take some fielding drills Wednesday. He'll be joined by Casilla, who will be doing pitchers' fielding practice.
"If all goes well [with Casilla], then we're looking at sending him to [Class A Advanced] San Jose to start his rehab as early as Thursday or even Wednesday," Bochy said.
Casilla owns a 1.37 ERA through 26 1/3 innings. He strained his right hamstring May 21.
Pagan misses second start with shin bruise
SAN FRANCISCO -- Half an hour after serving as the catalyst to the Giants' come-from-behind victory in the ninth inning Saturday night, Angel Pagan entered the team's clubhouse with a heavy bandage job wrapped around both his torso and right leg.
Pagan was held out of Sunday's lineup; he "felt it pretty good" according to manager Bruce Bochy after sliding into New York catcher Anthony Recker on Saturday night. The sore shin was simply a convenient reason to give Pagan a day off.
After being held out of the lineup again Monday, the shin is a bit more of an issue than originally thought, but neither Bochy nor Pagan anticipates a lengthy absence due to what Bochy called a lower leg contusion.
"Hopefully tomorrow," Pagan said Monday when asked to forecast his return to the lineup.
Added Bochy: "I think another day would serve him well."
Pagan grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning of Monday's 9-2 loss to the Nationals.
Gregor Blanco occupied Pagan's usual leadoff and center-field spots for the second consecutive day Monday. He starred in the team's 6-4 victory Sunday, going 2-for-4 at the plate with three RBIs.
Having a capable backup has helped Pagan rest when needed, instead of playing through the bumps and bruises.
"This is what a team is for. Sometimes you need somebody to step up and contribute when one of the players is not, and he's ready to do that," Pagan said of Blanco. "He's been picking me up, so far, so good; it's good to see. He's a big part of this team and he showed it in 2012 as well when we won a championship."
The pair of hits Sunday raised Blanco's season batting average to .253; he has 13 RBIs in 87 plate appearances. Pagan believes he'd be an everyday player for a handful of other teams around the Majors, "but he's here right now. He's ours."
Nats manager Williams recalls Giants days fondly
SAN FRANCISCO -- Matt Williams hit 247 home runs in his 10 seasons with the Giants. His home run celebration -- or lack thereof -- was memorable for its humility; he hurried around the basepaths, head down.
Back in the Bay Area as the manager of the Nationals, Williams went for a jog before heading to AT&T Park on Monday. As he had around the basepaths 247 times before as a Giant, Williams ran with his head down. He wore a headband and sunglasses, but he kept his head down.
"I was looking at my feet, trying to make sure I didn't trip," Williams joked.
This time, there weren't thousands of sets of eyes on him. If they were, it was unbeknownst to them; he said no one recognized him during his trot around memory lane.
"The memories come back every time," Williams said. "This city is where I grew up as a baseball player. I had great teaching, great support. There's a long history of fans here that support their teams and I was lucky to be part of that for some time.
"Everybody's welcoming and cordial and says hello; there are a lot of familiar faces around here, for sure. They want to beat you, but nonetheless, it's always special to come here. It's like home."
During the 10 years he played third base for the Giants, Williams hit .264 with 247 home runs and 732 RBIs and made four All-Star appearances before he was dealt to the Indians before the 1997 season.
Ryan Hood is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ryanhood19. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.