SAN FRANCISCO Aubrey Huffs desire and dedication haventalways been on display this season, so Giants officials were pleased when the35-year-old veteran agreed to give up his All-Star break and begin a minorleague rehab assignment with Single-A San Jose.
Huff, who has spent most of the season on the disabled list,will begin the assignment on Wednesday.
A great sign, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. He knowshe needs to get some playing time. Even before he got hurt this last time, hehadnt been out there a lot. He needs to see pitches, get his timing, play somefirst base.
Huff went on the DL in late April after abruptly leaving theclub prior to an April 23 doubleheader at New York. He and the team laterdescribed his absence as an anxiety disorder. Upon returning in May he startedjust four games while being used mostly off the bench as a pinch hitter; he wasjust 3 for 25 over that 20-game span but had drawn six walks.
Huff landed on the DL again when he fell hard on his kneewhile trying to jump over the railing to celebrate Matt Cains perfect game onJune 13. He missed an opportunity to get at bats as a designated hitter on theteams nine-game road trip to Seattle, Anaheim and Oakland.
Huff hasnt played in the minors since 2006, when he appearedin two games for Single-A Visalia while on a rehab assignment with the TampaBay Devil Rays.
Bochy said he couldnt say how long Huffs minor league stintwould last.
The best way to answer that is, until he thinks hes ready,Bochy said. Definitely not till after the (All-Star) break.
Bochy took Huffs acceptance of the assignment as a goodsign. There have been times that veteran players refused managements wishes toget at-bats in the minors; for example, Edgar Renteria declined when askedseveral times in 2010.
Sometimes these guys dont want to go down, Bochy said. Theywant to come back and theyre just not ready. So thats our hope: That he willgo down there and get his stroke so he can come back and help us.