SAN FRANCISCO -- September may not mean much to the postseason hopes for the Giants, but it will mean everything to outfielder Angel Pagan.
Pagan, who is on a rehab assignment after undergoing left hamstring surgery in late June, will return to the Giants when rosters expand on Sept. 1 and will play as often as possible.
"This is similar to Spring Training for him," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said before Saturday night's game against the Pirates. "We have to get him needed at-bats, help him get his timing back."
Pagan incurred the injury May 25 on an inside-the-park home run in the 10th inning of a win over the Colorado Rockies.
Less than a month later, on June 20, he pulled up running out a grounder for Class A San Jose in a rehab assignment. He was carted off the field and underwent surgery a few days later.
Pagan appeared in 46 games with the Giants before going on the shelf. San Francisco was 27-22 after he scored the winning run in May. They are 29-50 since.
Pagan remains an important piece to the Giants' future, and Bochy figures he needs to get back into the rhythm of a season before it ends.
"It will be an important offseason for him," Bochy said. "He's not feeling anything in the leg right now, but he does need to get used to game speed. September will be a big month for him. At-bats next month will help him in the long run."
Youngsters to see playing time down stretch
SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy has said he'll do what's best for the team in September and that means giving the young players a chance to play.
"You still go out there and try to win every game," Bochy said. "There's nothing wrong with making changes. That's what I had to tell Jeff Francoeur (who cleared waivers on Friday and is a free agent). He's a great guy to have in the clubhouse, but it's time to see what Brett Pill can do."
Nick Noonan, who will return when rosters expand on Sept. 1, will see more action at second base as Marco Scutaro will be given more time off during the last month of the season.
Outfielder Francisco Peguero, ranked as the Giants' 10th-best prospect, also will see more action now that he's recovered from a concussion.
"You'll see we'll try to get them in there as much as possible," Bochy said. "We'll try to do what is right."
• Left-hander Jeremy Affeldt threw a bullpen session Saturday, his first baseball activity since going on the disabled list July 21 with a left groin strain. "We'll see how he comes out of it," manager Bruce Bochy said.
• Former Giants infielder Pedro Feliz was a visitor to the clubhouse before the game. He brought his family from Orlando to visit. Feliz, who last played in the Majors in 2010, spent his first eight big league seasons (2000-07) with the Giants. He was part of a World Series championship with the Phillies in 2008.
• Giants first baseman Brandon Belt made an appearance at "The Melt" in nearby Burlingame before the game. He had to parallel park in front of the gathered crowd of about 200. "I nailed it," he said.
• Game jerseys of Pirates closer Mark Melancon, along with a box full of balls, made the rounds of the Giants' clubhouse. The jerseys, including one from the All-Star Game, are part of a charity effort.
Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.