LOS ANGELES – The Giants have one pitcher to add to the roster on Saturday, when Matt Cain comes off the disabled list to start against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
They’ll have another pitcher to add as soon as this weekend because left-hander David Huff is ready to come off the DL as well.
And no surprise, but it looks like a 13-man pitching staff will be in the offing again. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he and the front office have talked about going back to 13 pitchers very soon, even though the club is getting better length from its rotation.
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I asked Bochy if he’d even entertain the notion of sliding Yusmeiro Petit into the rotation every now and then, to give the other starters an extra day during these stretches when the team goes almost three weeks without a break in the schedule.
Bochy said he wanted to keep the pitchers in order but didn’t rule it out as an option down the road, especially in July or August.
More immediately, they have to figure out how to make two vacancies on the roster. George Kontos has an option remaining, which is likely to be a curse for him. And it looks probable that outfielder Juan Perez, who is 1 for 17 without a walk, will return to Triple-A Fresno as well. Angel Pagan and Michael Morse are bouncing back well, so a fifth outfielder could be an expendable luxury – even if it gives Bochy one less maneuver when he subs out Morse or wants to use a pinch runner.
Bochy said he checked with Morse and plans to start him in all four games of the series here at Dodger Stadium. Pagan, whom Bochy planned to rest often, is starting for the 31st time in 36 games and has played 84 percent of the defensive innings in center field.
On a related note, Gregor Blanco is 4 for 38 (.105). So I asked Bochy if he’s tempted to run Pagan and Morse out there more often than he had planned, since the outfield alternatives have been an offensive vacuum.
“Know what? I’d probably go the other way,” Bochy said. “Get Gregor out there and get him going. That’s the only way he’s going to get him on track: to get him at-bats. Plus you realize when you overplay guys and they get fatigued, it’s hard to get their legs back.”
The quartet of Blanco, Perez, Joaquin Arias and Ehire Adrianza has combined to hit .146 in 130 at-bats with seven runs and six RBIs -- and only Perez has a minor league option out of that group. Seems quite a few fans want to see someone new, whether it’s Joe Panik or Gary Brown or Tyler Colvin or Adam Duvall. Among those players , Colvin has generated the most discussion. The club always could move Marco Scutaro to the 60-day DL to create a 40-man space to purchase Colvin's contract.
But it’s hard to call up a position player when you’ve got two pitchers to add.
As for Huff, he threw three scoreless innings for Fresno on Thursday and knew his day was done. But when his spot in the lineup came up, he asked for a chance to hit.
“That’s how I got injured,” said Huff, who tweaked his left quad while beating out his first big league hit in Colorado.
So what did Huff do? He stroked a double just left of dead center.
“I Cadillacked it to first base,” Huff said, smiling. “Just took a page out of Bum’s book and ambushed the first pitch.”
Huff should feel good about his swing. He’s gotten at-bats on two levels and still hasn’t made an out.