With the strain to Joe Panik’s left groin in the fourth inning of Friday’s game and Jeff Samardzija’s return Saturday to make his first start since May 29 the Giants needed to make several roster changes ahead of Saturday’s first pitch.
Panik was placed on the 10-day disabled list pending the results of a Saturday morning MRI with Chase d’Arnaud’s contract being purchased from Triple-A Sacramento to offer more infield depth — Hunter Strickland (right thumb) was moved to the 60-day DL to make room on th 40-man roster. Meanwhile, Chris Stratton was optioned to Triple-A to make room for Samardzija in the rotation and on the roster.
d’Arnaud was set to play in the Pacific Coast League All-Star Game at shortstop Wednesday, but he was more than happy to exchange that opportunity to be called up for the first time in 2018:
“I’ll take this over that. My wife was stressing about taking Jagger, our one-year-old son, for his first flight to Columbus for the All-Star Game, so [when] I told her yesterday she was so happy and relieved at the same time that she wouldn’t have to fly with him to Columbus.”
Giants manager Bruce Bochy was pleased with the versatility d’Arnaud offers the Giants, and the utility infielder-occasion-outfielder said he carries around three gloves: first base, middle infield and outfield:
“[He can] swing the bat well, steal you a base and he’s got some experience up here so he’s not gonna be in awe of anything. [He’s also] a fun guy, I enjoyed being around him this spring. He worked hard this offseason on his swing and it looks like it’s payed some nice dividends for him. I’ll use him everywhere and he’s gonna bring some value off the bench, too.”
He’s been tearing it up with the River Cats this year (.292/.393/.522), and the Giants plan to have him face lefties while giving Alen Hanson the majority of starts at second base. d’Arnaud will also be available to give Brandon Crawford and Pablo Sandoval days off.
Stratton’s move to Triple-A will give him the opportunity to work on a few things in a lower-pressure environment as he’s struggled in his last few starts.
“He hasn’t quite been as sharp and this gives him a chance to kind of catch his breath work on a couple things.”
Stratton hopes to work on sequencing as well as making the release on his fastball and curveball look less distinguishable to batters:
“I just think that i gotta do a better job of locating [my fastball] and more or less work on the fastball command and try to get the breaking balls to work off of that.”
“[Going down] allows you to kind of work on some things that maybe you couldn’t previously work on. When you’re up here you’re just competing and trying to get outs the best you can, maybe if I’m down there I can work on some different sequencing.”