PHILADELPHIA -- First baseman Aubrey Huff has aggravated his sprained right knee and will return to San Francisco for an MRI to determine the extent of the setback, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Friday.Bochy confirmed that the Giants were seriously considering activating Huff from the disabled list on Monday, as general manager Brian Sabean said during a television interview on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Obviously, Huff's latest injury foils that plan. Giants management has grown increasingly impatient with first baseman Brandon Belt, who entered Friday hitting .244 with four home runs and 31 RBIs in 79 games and was batting .164 (9-for-55) in his previous 20 games. Huff hit .155 in 32 games earlier this season for the Giants, but Bochy indicated that the 12-year veteran would have provided an alternative to Belt.
"We wanted that option to help out Brandon," Bochy said.Bochy said that Huff, batting .154 (2-for-13) in four games with Triple-A Fresno, would have spent this weekend playing first base for Class A San Jose to prepare him for rejoining the Giants.
"He hadn't had that many at-bats or time at first base," Bochy said of Huff, who also had hit .250 (4-for-16) with a homer in five games for San Jose.Huff reinjured himself early in Fresno's 10-9 loss Thursday at Las Vegas. He originally hurt himself as he tried to vault the dugout railing to join the on-field celebration following Matt Cain's perfect game against Houston on June 13. Huff last appeared in a game for the Giants on June 10.
Bochy denies Lincecum-Posey split
PHILADELPHIA -- Tim Lincecum started his sixth consecutive game Friday night with a catcher other than Buster Posey, but Giants manager Bruce Bochy insisted that no hidden agenda or animosity has separated the two players.Bochy pointed out that Posey caught Thursday afternoon at Atlanta in a day game following a night game and reasoned that he wanted a fresh catcher -- Eli Whiteside, in this case -- to handle Lincecum, who can be rough on his receivers. "He likes to throw balls in the dirt and he does it effectively," Bochy said of Lincecum. Bochy added that he had planned for Whiteside, who replaced the injured Hector Sanchez on the active roster Wednesday, to catch one of this weekend's three games against the Phillies. A national baseball writer said on Twitter that Posey, who has paired with Lincecum 13 times this year, might not catch the two-time Cy Young Award winner again this season. Bochy called that "completely false. Timmy doesn't care who he throws to." Posey said earlier this week, "I've got the utmost confidence in myself to catch anybody. So I'd never question that. I've caught Timmy plenty and had lots of success with him."
Mired in slump, Pagan sits in favor of Schierholtz
PHILADELPHIA -- Slumping center fielder Angel Pagan received a break Friday as Nate Schierholtz replaced him in San Francisco's lineup.The switch-hitting Pagan has been especially struggling against right-handers; Friday's Phillies starter, Vance Worley, is a righty. Pagan entered Friday batting .159 (7-for-44) against right-handers in his last 17 games.
Manager Bruce Bochy initially planned to rest Pagan in Thursday's series finale at Atlanta. But he gave Pagan another start, due to his success against Braves starter Tim Hudson (.355, 11-for-31). Pagan proceeded to go 0-for-3 against Hudson and 0-for-4 overall with three strikeouts.The earnest Pagan has worked overtime to attempt to fix his hitting flaws. Bochy suggested that he try relaxing a little.
"Sometimes less is more," Bochy said.Schierholtz, who played right field while Gregor Blanco moved to center, made his third start in San Francisco's last 21 games.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.