SEATTLE Justin Christian is back in the big leagues withhis hometown team. Hes an energetic outfielder who never stops moving.
Hes the designated hitter Friday night. How is he going todeal with all that down time?
I dont remember the last time I was the DH, saidChristian, whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Fresno. Maybe it was in2010 coming off arm surgery. But itll be good. Itll give me a chance to relaxand just worry about hitting.
Christian did plenty of that against Pacific Coast Leaguepitching. He was hitting .364 with a .432 on-base percentage and a slew ofextra-base hits, including seven home runs. The right-handed hitting outfielderwas mashing against lefties and righties alike.
He was management's obvious choice to replace Aubrey Huff, who wasplaced on the 15-day disabled list with a right knee sprain. Huff sustained theinjury when he fell while trying to hop the dugout rail following the final outof Matt Cains perfect game on Friday.
Huff should be ready when his 15 days are up, Giants managerBruce Bochy said.
The timing is just awful, said Bochy, who had planned forHuff to serve as his primary DH as the Giants begin a stretch of nine games atAL parks in Seattle, Anaheim and Oakland. Hes done it and hes done well withit. Aubrey had been working very hard preparing for these nine days.
Now Bochy is left to decide on a ninth hitter, and his findings are incomplete. He said he wasntsure what he would do Saturday, but listed Hector Sanchez as one possibility.He said he gave thought to rotating his outfielders through the DH slot, butmost of them expressed a preference to play the field.
Christian almost gives the Giants a second leadoff man inthe No.9 spot. The 32-year-old grew up in San Mateo and played baseball atSkyline College. It was a dream when he received a late-season call-up lastyear, reaching the majors for the first time since 2008, when he played in 24games for the New York Yankees.
The Giants took Christian off the 40-man roster after lastseason in order to protect prospects from the Rule 5 draft. Yet he agreed toreturn on a minor league contract.
Any time you get taken off the roster or demoted, its nota good feeling, Christian said. But I love the Giants. When I had anopportunity to sign back, even though I had other opportunities, I wanted tocome back here.
I waited for an opportunity and I got a break to come uphere and Ill try to make the most of it. Its unfortunate for Aubrey, andhopefully he gets healthy.