7/26/2014 3:11 A.M. ET
Giants' injuries open door for Uggla's debut
By Ryan Hood / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Matchups against Dodgers co-aces Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw aren't exactly ideal housewarming gifts, but that's the conundrum newly promoted Giants second baseman Dan Uggla will face Friday and Saturday night at AT&T Park.
Manager Bruce Bochy had hoped to get Uggla more than the seven at-bats he got at Triple-A Fresno, but with Ehire Adrianza and Marco Scutaro placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday afternoon and Joe Panik nursing an ankle injury, the Giants couldn't afford to not call up Uggla and fellow infielder Tony Abreu.
In a span of a week, the 34-year-old former Braves All-Star has gone from free agent to everyday starter for a first-place team.
"It is what it is; you've got to face those guys some time or another," Uggla said Friday when asked about his tough first opponents with the Giants. "This is one of those battles you look forward to.
"You can try to draw out the perfect picture of how to join a team, but what does it really matter? They wanted me here now, and I'm more than happy to be here. It doesn't matter who it's against. I'm looking forward to helping this team win."
Summer reclamation projects are nothing new for the Giants, who have previously tried to resurrect the careers of Jeff Francoeur (2013) and Pat Burrell (2010), but catching lighting in a bottle with Uggla might be even more improbable.
Uggla hit just .162/.241/.231 with two home runs and 10 RBIs in the Majors this season with Atlanta and was released last Friday after he lost his starting job at second base to rookie Tommy La Stella. Uggla hit .179/.309/.362 with 22 homers and 55 RBIs last season. In two games this week with Fresno, he was 2-for-7 with an RBI and two walks.
"Is he quite ready? It would have been nice to get him a few more at-bats down there, but it just wasn't possible with the injuries we're having right now," Bochy said before Friday night's game. "Sometimes change is good. I like taking a look at players who have a track record, and he has an outstanding track record.
"For him to be available, the timing was perfect for us because we need help at second base."
Given the lack of production the Giants have received from the position, the bar for what'll be deemed a success isn't high for Uggla, who said he's shortened his swing in an attempt to prioritize contact over power.
"We're human; we're going to fall out of whack sometimes and we have to get ourselves back into the right places some way or another," Uggla said. "I know what I bring to a clubhouse; I know what I can bring on the field. No added pressure here on my end. I've been in some dark places, battling my own struggles the last year and half, but that's over. I'm here to have fun and help these guys win."
As for Abreu, Bochy said he will be used primarily as a left-handed hitter off the bench. Abreu hit .281 with six home runs and 29 RBIs in 64 games this season with Fresno. In 53 games last season, his first with the Giants, he hit .268 with two home runs and 14 RBIs.
Lefty Jose De Paula and infielder Nick Noonan were designated for assignment to create room for Abreu and Uggla on the 40-man roster.
Sanchez out 'a little while' with concussion
SAN FRANCISCO -- The population of the Giants' already crowded training room has increased yet again.
Catcher Hector Sanchez left the team's 8-1 loss to the Dodgers on Friday night after taking a foul ball to the mask in the third inning. The ensuing tests discovered a mild concussion, manager Bruce Bochy said after the game.
"He's out for a little while" is all Bochy had to offer on is backup catcher's status. A corresponding move had yet to be made. The Giants have Guillermo Quiroz and Andrew Susac at Triple-A Fresno, but neither is on the 40-man roster, so someone would have to be designated for assignment for room to be created.
Susac, the Giants' top-rated position-player prospect according to MLB.com's rankings, is hitting .268 with 10 home runs and 32 RBIs in 63 games with Fresno this season. Quiroz, meanwhile, is hitting .267 with one home run and 17 RBIs in 49 games there.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski has signed with the Cardinals, so a return to the Giants is no longer an option.
Bochy and a training staff member had a lengthy meeting with a shaken-up Sanchez after the foul tip, but he stayed in the game. Sanchez -- Tim Lincecum's personal catcher -- finished the top half of the inning and struck out in the bottom half. He was taken out of the game afterward.
Two innings later, Lincecum unraveled in a five-run fifth for the Dodgers that effectively ended the game. Lincecum and Sanchez have built a rapport that's both helped Lincecum rediscover his successful ways of yesteryear and allowed Bochy to spare star Buster Posey some wear and tear, given Lincecum's hard-to-catch, sometimes-erratic breaking balls. He gave up five runs on six hits in 1 1/3 innings without Sanchez on Friday.
Buster Posey moved from first base to replace Sanchez at catcher. Posey hadn't caught Lincecum since April 26 against the Indians.
Sanchez is hitting .196 with three home runs and 28 RBIs in 66 games this season.
Adrianza, Scutaro placed on disabled list
SAN FRANCISCO -- Second basemen Ehire Adrianza (right hamstring strain) and Marco Scutaro (lower back strain) were each placed on the 15-day disabled list on Friday.
In their place, infielders Tony Abreu and Dan Uggla were called up from Triple-A Fresno.
"We haven't been able to use him as much as he would like or we would like," manager Bruce Bochy said of Scutaro.
Scutaro will receive treatment throughout the weekend; the Giants are hopeful he'll return when his time on the DL expires. The 38-year-old Scutaro played just five games and recorded one hit since being activated July 11.
The hope was that the 38-year-old would play three or four games per week and give the Giants the production they've lacked from second base this season, but after the back troubles again became too much to overcome, Scutaro finds himself back on the DL. With Scutaro struggling, Brandon Hicks gone and Joe Panik struggling, the Giants are on to Plan D at second base, Uggla.
When asked about Adrianza, Bochy sounded a bit more grim, saying "it's going to be a little while for him."
• Bochy said first baseman Brandon Belt is making progress in his recovery from a concussion, but said Belt will need a few additional days before returning when his seven-day disabled-list stint ends on Monday.
• Bochy said Angel Pagan has begun taking live batting practice in his recovery from a back injury, but the Giants do not yet have a target date for his much-anticipated return.
• Pitching coach Dave Righetti rejoined the team at AT&T Park on Friday. The 55-year-old missed the team's seven-game road trip after being hospitalized with vertigo.
Ryan Hood is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.