Giants

Latest injury to Span has outfielder out of lineup again, in uncomfortable state

Latest injury to Span has outfielder out of lineup again, in uncomfortable state

CHICAGO -- Denard Span's first week off the DL showed what a game-changer he can be when healthy. Unfortunately for the Giants, he's no longer healthy. 

Span is out of the lineup Monday with a left thumb sprain and he's unlikely to be available Tuesday. Span has felt the discomfort for about a week and it got worse Sunday against the Cardinals.

"Yesterday was not fun. I got jammed the second at-bat and fouled a ball off and the rest of the game was bad," Span said, adding that hitting coach Hensley Meulens showed him video of his thumb instinctively coming off the bat during his later swings.

Span said his palm is swollen right near the thumb, and he was wearing a wrap on the area Monday. He is 13-for-43 with two homers and six RBI since coming off the DL, helping with the turnaround. Prior to the last homestand, Span missed 17 games with a shoulder injury. 

Madison Bumgarner waiting for results to match improved stuff on mound

Madison Bumgarner waiting for results to match improved stuff on mound

PHOENIX -- More than anything else -- the injuries, the rebuilding, the trade rumors -- Madison Bumgarner is frustrated by the losing.

So he was happy on Saturday night after getting backed by eight runs in the Giants' win over the Diamondbacks, but he was also perplexed. 

"It's a weird game," he said.

Bumgarner was referring to his own results. His stuff has taken a noticeable tick up in the last four starts, but he was charged with four runs in 6 1/3 innings on Saturday and has given up 11 earned in those four appearances. That's certainly not bad by any means, but it's not quite what he expects given how the ball is coming out of his hand. 

"I feel like I'm throwing the ball as good as I ever have," Bumgarner said. "The results not being there is frustrating."

Bumgarner's fastball and cutter again had a little extra zip on Saturday, and he hit 93 mph with eight pitches. He had done it 14 total times in his first nine starts. His fastball averaged a season-high 92.4 mph and his cutter was coming in at 88, but the pesky Diamondbacks kept making him work and eventually knocked him out in the seventh, when Bumgarner hit 93.2 mph with his last fastball of the game. That was his 10th-hardest pitch of the season. 

"Today I felt the best I've felt all year," he said of his command. "And somehow you look at the line and you walk three and give up four runs. It just doesn't match up. That's the frustrating part of the game."

Bumgarner shrugged it off, noting a couple of times how weird baseball can be.

[RELATED: Giants designate Altherr for assignment after one at-bat]

The results will come eventually, but by then he may be pitching in another uniform. There were plenty of scouts at Chase Field on Saturday to get a close eye at Bumgarner, and if the velocity bump sticks around and the command is still there, he could be the biggest name moved before the trade deadline. 

Giants designate Aaron Altherr for assignment after just one at-bat

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USATSI

Giants designate Aaron Altherr for assignment after just one at-bat

PHOENIX -- Even Michael Reed thinks the Aaron Altherr Era was short. 

Altherr, picked up on a waiver claim eight days ago, was designated for assignment by the Giants on Sunday morning to open a roster spot for Drew Pomeranz, who is returning from the Injured List to start the finale against the Diamondbacks. 

Altherr was active for four games but got just one pinch-hit at-bat, striking out. His time in the organization may not be up, though. The Giants will hope to get Altherr through waivers and stash him in Triple-A as they have done with others, and perhaps he could return later this season to get a true look in the outfield. 

For now, there's no space. Steven Duggar and Kevin Pillar are entrenched and the Giants remain committed to giving Mac Williamson an extended look in left field. Altherr even found it tough to get pinch-hit at-bats, as Tyler Austin is ahead of him in the "right-handed hitting outfielder" pecking order. It was not realistic to carry five outfielders much longer. 

[RELATED: Giants' table-setters, sluggers do their part vs. D-Backs]

Pomeranz will make his eighth start on Sunday. He has a 5.93 ERA in his first season with the Giants.