Drew Stubbs

Giants designate Drew Stubbs, call up another veteran outfielder

Giants designate Drew Stubbs, call up another veteran outfielder

SAN FRANCISCO -- The search for improvement in the outfield led to another roster move on Saturday. 

The Giants designated Drew Stubbs for assignment and purchased the contract of Justin Ruggiano from Triple-A Sacramento. Ruggiano, 35, was in camp with the Giants but agreed to go to the minors to continue rehabbing a shoulder injury and get additional at-bats. He was hitting .259 at the time of his promotion. His minor league deal with the Giants did include an opt-out if he did not get called up by a specific date. 

Ruggiano can play all three outfield spots and he brings a very specific skill when healthy. In his career, he is a .275/.338/.527 hitter against left-handed pitching. 

Stubbs signed with the Giants after being let go by the Twins at the end of the spring. He was 2-for-22 with nine strikeouts. 

The Giants continue to struggle to get any production out of left and center field. Denard Span (shoulder) is currently in Arizona rehabbing at the club facility, and he hopes to start a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento before this road trip is over. Melvin Upton Jr. was thought to be a possibility but he's out two months after surgery. Steven Duggar, the top center field prospect in the organization, is still sidelined by an injury suffered in the spring. 

Span misses another game; Giants finalize deal with veteran outfielder

Span misses another game; Giants finalize deal with veteran outfielder

PHOENIX -- Denard Span will likely miss three-quarters of the season-opening series because of a sore left hip. Span may be available as a pinch-hitter Thursday and he's feeling much better than he was when he missed Tuesday's game, but manager Bruce Bochy said he likely won't start until the Giants hit San Diego this weekend. 

"I don't think there's too much to be concerned about," Span said. "It felt unbelievable up until two days ago. It might just be a flareup."

Span had the hip surgically repaired after the 2015 season, but this issue is thought to be unrelated. Span said team trainers are having him take it easy for a couple of days so his hip capsule calms down. 

With Span out, Gorkys Hernandez gets another start. He drove in a career-high four runs on Tuesday, picking up two hits and a walk. Hernandez saw 26 pitches while taking over atop the lineup. 

In other outfield news, the Drew Stubbs minor league deal is official. He will make a prorated portion of a $1 million contract if he's in the big leagues and $130,000 while with Triple-A Sacramento. The deal also includes performance bonuses. 

--- Cody Ross has joined the staff as a coach, but he won't be around for every game. The schedule is still being worked out. 

"You look at the staff and what we don't have is a true outfielder," Bochy said. "That's what he is. That's why we wanted him here to look at the outfielders and look at positioning. He's a big help, to be honest."

--- The homer Brandon Crawford hit -- on a high inside pitch -- was a rare swing for him. That's not usually his sweet spot. Bochy pointed to it as another example of a player getting better every year. Crawford will keep moving up the lineup, too. The former No. 8 hitter is locked in as the No. 5 guy, and he'll hit cleanup when Buster Posey takes days off. 

--- The Diamondbacks missed the deadline to challenge a play last night. The replay system now has a digital clock that counts down from 30 seconds as soon as the play is over. It's the same system on both sides, so both teams (that would be Shawon Dunston and Chad Chop in the visiting clubhouse here) will be notified if it's too late to challenge. The replay officials in New York also see the clock. 

--- The Giants will face Luis Perdomo, Jhoulys Chacin and Clayton Richard this weekend. Richard dominated the Dodgers last night and the Giants took note, but they won't adjust their rotation to line Madison Bumgarner and Matt Moore up for the first series of the year between the rivals. The Giants might, however, sneak Ty Blach into the No. 5 spot during a Dodgers series if the spot comes up. That's how glaring their weakness against left-handed starters is right now. Blach, of course, enjoys facing the Dodgers. 

--- If you missed it, some morning notes on George Kontos facing lefties, Hunter Strickland adjusting his mechanics, and more.