Programming note: Giants-Pirates coverage kicks off today at 3:30 p.m. with Giants Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
PITTSBURGH -- While awaiting results of Marco Scutaro's visit to the hand specialist, the Giants changed personnel in their bullpen.
The club optioned struggling right-hander George Kontos to Triple-A Fresno and recalled right-hander Sandy Rosario.
Kontos, 28, had been a mainstay in the bullpen since the middle of last season but struggled as Giants manager Bruce Bochy used him frequently. The Northwestern University alum appeared in 30 of the Giants' first 56 games after he appeared in both ends of a doubleheader June 1 at St. Louis. Then he received a 10-day break as the rotation pitched deeper into games and the club had three days off built into their schedule.
The rest didn't appear to help Kontos on Wednesday, though. He served up a two-run home run to Pedro Alvarez and then drew an ejection in the eighth inning when he hit Andrew McCutchen with a pitch. Two batters earlier, Kontos had thrown behind Starling Marte, drawing a warning from plate umpire Wally Bell.
Kontos did not admit to any intent, but the Giants lost Scutaro after he was hit by a pitch on the left hand; Ryan Vogelsong will be out a minimum of two months after getting hit by a pitch that crushed his pinkie finger in May.
Kontos is likely to face disciplinary action from the league, as is Giants manager Bruce Bochy. (Managers are automatically ejected when his pitcher hits a batter after a warning, and a one-game suspension is customary.) The league will have the Dodgers and Diamondbacks first on their agenda, though.
The Giants have well regarded prospect Heath Hembree at Fresno, but the club doesn't want to clear a 40-man roster space for him until they know he'll stay in a late-inning relief role. Also, it's possible Hembree could be used as trade bait as the Giants look to add a starting pitcher at or before the July 31 deadline. If they call him up and he struggles, it could dent his value.
Check back for more on Scutaro, and also a weather update. It's going to get ugly here in Pittsburgh. The only question is whether the storm moves in late enough to get this game in.