Kim Klement, USA Today

Joe Panik to DL, Bullpen Exhausted--Move on the Way?

Joe Panik was a late scratch from Tuesday night's game against the Oakland Athletics, and will reportedly be headed to the concussion DL. The bullpen is showing signs of fatigue, and could use some reinforcements before resuming their series with Oakland.

At this point the Giants laundry list of injuries is really starting to add up, with Joe Panik joining the list on Tuesday after showing late concussion symptoms from being hit in the head in Tampa on June 18. Postgame, Henry Schulman tweeted out that GM Bobby Evans had already ruled out Christian Arroyo potentially joining the club. Way to ruin the fun--even though it makes perfect sense to not start his clock when he'd only be with the club for a week and has yet to see Triple-A pitching. 

With that in mind, Grant Green would be the logical option, but he too is on the seven day disabled list. The other two productive infielders from Sacramento, Ramiro Pena and Conor Gillaspie, are already with the big league club, so the options are relatively thin. In last night's River Cats game, another high-scoring contest, a 14-10 victory in Las Vegas, Myles Schroder was the starting second baseman, Mitch Delfino started at third, and Rando Moreno got the start at short. Schroder just came up from Double-A Richmond, so he's off the list, leaving it between Moreno and Delfino. 

Moreno, a 24-year-old Dominican, hasn't been in Sacramento much longer than Schroder, playing in just 19 games, but he has handled the bat well in his time with the club, batting .284, and has struck out just six times in 67 at-bats. Delfino is 25 and was selected by the Giants in the 20th round of the 2012 draft. He is more of a corner infielder, which could tip the scales towards Moreno, as does the fact that he's only hitting .228 through 51 games. 

With the Giants headed to Oakland for the next two games, they could play with fire and add another arm to the bullpen instead of replacing Panik with another infielder right away, as Green was put on the DL on June 21, and could be ready to come off after a couple of extra days. He has yet to swing the bat for San Francisco, but the former Athletic has played parts of the last three seasons in the majors with the A's and Angels, batting .249 over 300 career plate appearances. 

If all goes well, Panik will be back in a week's time and whomever the team decides to call up will see the field sparingly. Gillaspie, Pena and Crawford figure to handle the duties from third to short with a new addition being insurance. 

Now back to this bullpen question. After rolling through nearly the entire bullpen on Tuesday, save for Chris Stratton who pitched three innings on Monday night, the arms could use a break. Hunter Strickland and Derek Law combined to throw seven pitches, so their arms should be fresh, but if Jake Peavy provides anything less than six innings on Wednesday night against an A's offense that seemingly holds a grudge against Giants pitchers, then the bullpen will not be getting the break that they need.

Sergio Romo is supposed to get another rehab appearance with Sacramento before being activated from the DL, but that could change given the meltdown the bullpen suffered on Tuesday, and the need for some fresh arms. Romo pitched two innings of relief on Tuesday night for San Jose, so he likely wouldn't be added for at least a couple of days. 

29-year-old Vin Mazzaro (another for A's player) has been having a solid season in Sacramento, holding a 1.88 ERA over 38.1 innings. He has Major League experience, although that has been a mixed bag with a career 4.79 ERA over 383 innings, including one inning of relief over two appearances with the Giants earlier this year in which he allowed six runs. He tossed two innings on June 25, so he should be good for a couple more on Wednesday if San Francisco needed him. 

Jean Machi, who signed a minor league deal with the Giants on June 17, is a familiar face that this situation seems to be calling for. In his 6.2 innings with the River Cats he has a 4.05 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. Mike Broadway is another pitcher that has experience and could see his way to Oakland for game three of the Bay Bridge series. Plus he's fresh! 

There will be some moves in the bullpen at some point this week. If the series against the A's hasn't started out rough enough, the team gets to travel to Arizona for a weekend series with the Diamondbacks. 


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