OAKLAND -- The Giants optioned infielder Ryan Rohlinger to Triple-A Fresno on Saturday to clear roster room as shortstop Edgar Renteria was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list.Until recently, infielder Matt Downs easily could have been the one to go. But the rookie has impressed the Giants while hitting .265 in 23 games entering Saturday. Manager Bruce Bochy acknowledged that Downs played his way into staying put.
"He has done what you hope these young players do, and that's improve and force their way onto your club," Bochy said.Downs, who started 17 games at second base during Freddy Sanchez's absence, drew designated-hitting duties Saturday. Bochy considered using Sanchez as the DH, but the veteran expressed a preference for playing defensively. Upon granting Sanchez's wishes, Bochy didn't hesitate to call on Downs. "You usually don't DH a young kid like this, but that's how well he's been swinging the bat," Bochy said. Rohlinger hit .200 (2-for-10) in seven games since being recalled May 7 when Renteria went on the DL.
"He didn't get a lot of playing time, but this kid has really improved," Bochy said. "Instead of having him sitting here, we want to keep him playing."
Renteria's return makes infield crowded
OAKLAND -- Once Juan Uribe fully eases the tightness in his left hamstring and is able to resume playing regularly, he probably won't.But manager Bruce Bochy indicated Saturday that he'll find a way to solve the potential middle-infield glut formed by second baseman Freddy Sanchez, shortstop Edgar Renteria and Uribe, who has proven capable of starting at either position. The crowding was officially created Saturday when Renteria, having recovered from a right groin strain, was activated from the 15-day disabled list. Bochy didn't divulge details, but he hinted that he'll periodically rest Renteria and Sanchez to keep Uribe active. Uribe also could play third base, with Pablo Sandoval moving to first, when Aubrey Huff needs a break. The point is not to lose Uribe's bat, since he's hitting .277 and leads San Francisco with 25 RBIs. Bochy said that he met with the infielders involved to discuss the situation. "Some guys will be moving around, getting a day off, things like that," Bochy said Saturday. "It's a very workable situation. It's really a good situation to be in, where you can rest guys. We have some movable parts here." Uribe remained on day-to-day playing status and was available to pinch-hit, said Bochy, who felt confident that Uribe will avoid the disabled list and shouldn't be sidelined for an extended period. In another injury-related matter, Bochy said that left fielder Mark DeRosa (left wrist) won't be physically ready to rejoin the Giants by Tuesday, the first day he's eligible for activation from the disabled list. It's possible that DeRosa will have begun a Minor League injury rehabilitation assignment by then.
Rowand could be moved from leadoff
OAKLAND -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy acknowledged that he has considered moving Aaron Rowand out of the leadoff spot, though the center fielder remained at the top of the order in Saturday's lineup against the Oakland A's.Rowand has led off in all 29 games he has started. His tendency to alternate slumps with torrid hitting spells is one factor that could prompt Bochy to make a change, since consistency is preferable from the leadoff spot. Rowand entered Saturday batting .256 with five home runs and 18 RBIs. He owns a respectable .456 slugging percentage but his on-base percentage is .295. The Giants' first leadoff alternative to Rowand probably would be Andres Torres, who began Saturday batting .289 with a .389 on-base percentage and a .485 slugging percentage. Entering Saturday, Giants leadoff hitters ranked ninth and 10th in the National League with a .243 batting average and a .298 on-base percentage, respectively. The respective league averages in those categories were .251 and .318. "He's playing a little streaky, as a lot of guys are," Bochy said of Rowand. "If we think we need him to help out in that sixth or seventh spot, we'll do it and lead off somebody like Torres."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.