Giants call up new reliever, place Mijares on bereavement list

Giants call up new reliever, place Mijares on bereavement list
April 29, 2013, 5:30 pm
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The Giants will be without Jose Mijares, who flew to Venezuela after his grandmother passed away of a heart attack. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

PHOENIX – The Giants will be down to one left-handed reliever for this three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks – a team that has its share of lefty threats in the lineup and on the bench. 

In addition to Jeremy Affeldt, who won’t come off the disabled list any earlier than Friday, the Giants are without left-hander Jose Mijares. The club placed him on the bereavement list Monday, when he traveled to Venezuela after learning that his grandmother had a heart attack.

She passed away before he could arrive. Mijares lost both his parents at a young age and was raised by his grandmother, so it’s a deeply personal loss for him.

The Giants called up right-hander Sandy Rosario from Triple-A Fresno. Rosario, a 27-year-old who was claimed off waivers over the winter, appeared in four games for the Florida Marlins last season and was 0-1 with a 3.29 ERA thus far at Fresno. More importantly, he had thrown 13 2/3 innings over nine appearances (and struck out 17), so he was deemed best suited for a long relief role.

Lefty Dan Runzler is also off to a terrific start for the Grizzlies, with a 0.93 ERA and just four hits allowed in 9 2/3 innings. But the long relief coverage was deemed more important than having a second lefty.

“It gives us a little more coverage,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, pointing out that Jean Machi and Chad Gaudin logged a lot of work in the weekend series at San Diego. “It was a tough call because Runzler is throwing the ball well.”

A reminder: Players on the bereavement list must stay there for a minimum of three days and a maximum of seven.

As for Affeldt, he threw his second bullpen session in three days and didn’t have any setbacks with his strained oblique. But the Giants want him to face hitters one time before he’s activated. On Wednesday, he’ll either appear in an extended spring game here in Arizona or join Single-A San Jose for an appearance.

Barring a setback, Affeldt would be activated in time for Friday’s homestand opener against the Dodgers.

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Just one other pregame note, and it concerns Brandon Belt hitting eighth in the lineup against Arizona right-hander Ian Kennedy.

Bochy called it a matchup-driven demotion, and it does pop out at you that Belt is 2 for 15 against Kennedy with NINE strikeouts.

Gregor Blanco is 3 for 9 and Brandon Crawford is 5 for 16. Both of them have had more consistent at-bats of late, too.

“You look at the numbers, and to be honest, Blanco and Crawford are swinging it better right now,” Bochy said. “So I made the switch.”

The other question that Giants fans are asking me with more frequency every day: How long until Crawford takes over for Marco Scutaro as the No. 2 hitter?

Not yet, obviously. Bochy said he liked Scutaro’s at-bats in San Diego, but he does plan to get Nick Noonan a start in this series. Bochy could pick either Tuesday or Wednesday, since Arizona is scheduled to start right-handers Brandon McCarthy and Trevor Cahill. The Giants miss lefties Wade Miley and Patrick Corbin in this series.

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An early reminder: Because of the Warriors game, Tuesday night’s Giants-Diamondbacks game will be on CSN Bay Area Plus. (Check this page for the channel numbers that correspond to your service provider.) The Giants game will be joined in progress on CSN Bay Area after Warriors Postgame Live.

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