NBC Sports

As McGee nears return, Giants lose Kazmir to IL, add Long

NBC Sports

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants swapped lefties before the final series of the regular season, and another one should soon join the mix. 

Veteran Scott Kazmir was placed on the IL with a right hamstring strain and the Giants added rookie Sammy Long, who adds some length to a bullpen that had to throw 8 2/3 innings on Thursday night. Manager Gabe Kapler said it's a Grade 1 strain for Kazmir, who will miss two to three weeks. 

"(Long) gives us some protection and some innings if needed after covering yesterday's game with our 'pen," Kapler said. 

The Giants could have another move to make soon. Closer Jake McGee threw a bullpen session earlier in the week and felt good, and Kapler said there's a "good chance" McGee is added to the active roster this weekend against the Padres. 

Kazmir pitched well enough in San Diego last week that he earned another spot start, but he lasted just one out on Thursday night. He was struggling with his command when he hurt his hamstring while covering first on a grounder to the right side. Kazmir was charged with three runs in what was likely his last appearance for the Giants.

The Giants do not need a fifth starter in the postseason, and they have Johnny Cueto in their bullpen if the need for length pops up. For Kazmir, the injury brings to an end what was an incredible regular season journey. After five years away from the big leagues, the 37-year-old made five appearances -- including four starts -- for the Giants. He was designated for assignment after early appearances but joined the U.S. Olympic team, winning a silver medal.

RELATED: Kapler credits "fighters" for Giants' 105th win

When he returned from Tokyo, Kazmir went back to Triple-A Sacramento and pitched well enough that the Giants viewed him as their best option to fill in as their fifth starter down the stretch. 

"It's been a crazy year, a very eventful year," Kazmir said last week. "I don't think I would have ever thought I would be in this position. It's all good, I love every moment of it. It's been a great experience, every little bit of it."