With 18 days until Opening Day, it's time for the Giants to consider other options at second base.

Marco Scutaro took live batting practice Wednesday for the first time in spring training - swings off a coach on the main field at Scottsdale Stadium - and wasn't optimistic about opening the season as the Giants' second baseman.

"It's hard to target it," Scutaro said. "I could probably go out and play tomorrow, but what about the next day? I could go play right now with pain, but the next day's going to be worse."

In the final week of training camp last year, Scutaro's back locked up, and he hasn't recovered. He played in pain for much of 2013 (also with a finger injury), appearing in 127 games and hitting .297. He was hoping to enter 2014 healthy.

"In the offseason, I worked hard, but it didn't get any better," Scutaro said.

He added, "For me, the hardest part is hitting and rotating. When (the back) moves, some muscles aren't working and other muscles are working extra hard. That's the reason they start getting mad at me."

Meantime, manager Bruce Bochy has to consider Plan B. He remains hopeful Scutaro will make a quick recovery, saying, "Sometimes these things turn the corner real fast," but would want Scutaro to play back-to-back exhibitions before declaring him ready for the season.

For now, he's not ready to play one.

The safe replacement is Joaquin Arias, a valuable utility man in 2012 and 2013, appearing in more than 100 games each season. His RBI single ended Wednesday's 4-3 exhibition win over the White Sox.