08/01/09 9:28 PM ET
Giants welcome Sanchez, alter roster
Flurry of maneuvers freshens 'pen, but fifth starter needed
By Andrew Pentis / MLB.com
Before Saturday's game against the Philadelphia Phillies at AT&T Park, Murphy was busy, as the Giants optioned two players to the Minor Leagues and welcomed two more, recently acquired second baseman Freddy Sanchez chief among them.
As expected, Sanchez was officially added to the 25-man roster and was available to pinch-hit Saturday. Sanchez exhausted his 72-hour time frame to report after he was traded from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday. The Giants used that time to ensure the health of his inflamed left knee.
Sanchez said he was encouraged by his pregame workout Saturday, which, under the careful watch of team trainer Dave Groeschner and members of the coaching staff, included running, fielding and throwing. He also took swings in the batting cages.
"It's been a whirlwind these last few days," said Sanchez, who watched the last two Giants games from his nearby hotel room. "I'm just kind of excited that I'm home now."
The second baseman, who will wear No. 21, will make his first start as a Giant on Sunday at the earliest. (His two kids, who suited up for Family Day at the ballpark Saturday, actually played in a Giants jersey before their dad.)
Sanchez's arrival, which forced the Giants to option first baseman Jesus Guzman back to Triple-A Fresno, was the first of two intriguing moves Saturday.
Having used five of the team's seven relievers in Friday's loss to the Phillies, manager Bruce Bochy and Co. decided they needed a fresh pitcher. At Ryan Sadowski's expense, the team recalled right-hander Waldis Joaquin from Double-A Connecticut.
That leaves the No. 5 slot in the team's rotation open for the time being, though the Giants will need a starter Wednesday in Houston. Bochy said he wasn't prepared to announce who would take the ball that day against the Astros, but added that Joe Martinez and Kevin Pucetas, both pitching well for Triple-A Fresno, are among the candidates to get the nod.
Bochy said top prospect Madison Bumgarner, thriving at Connecticut, wasn't an option. (A dark horse for the start: veteran Ramon Ortiz, who has won three starts in a row at Fresno, though he's not on the 40-man roster, so it would take more maneuvering to call him up.)
Martinez (0-1 with 2.93 ERA in five starts) and Pucetas (10-2 with 3.30 ERA in 21 starts) would both have extra rest if either was called on to pitch Wednesday.
Friday against the Phillies, Sadowski allowed one run but left after just four innings due to tightness in his throwing shoulder. The rookie right-hander told reporters Saturday it was too early to know the severity of his shoulder issue, though both he and Bochy intimated it was nothing serious.
After pitching shutout ball over 13 innings in his first two starts, Sadowski allowed 14 earned runs in 15 1/3 innings over his last four outings.
"We want him to go back down to get to where he was," Bochy said.
Joaquin gives San Francisco an eighth reliever in its bullpen, meaning his roster spot would likely be ceded to the Giants' next call-up. Nevertheless, Joaquin opened eyes in Spring Training by posting a 2.08 ERA with nine strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings. With Connecticut this season, he was 4-5 with a 2.67 ERA in 36 games, having allowed only 36 hits but walking 28 in 54 innings.
"He's a guy we think a lot of," Bochy said. "We're going to take a look at him for a few days."
Guzman went 1-for-5 at the plate in his second Major League stint this season.
Andrew Pentis is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.