SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants activated Matt Cain from the 15-day disabled list ahead of his start tonight against the New York Mets and designated reliever David Huff for assignment to clear room on the 25-man roster.
Manager Bruce Bochy said the Giants opted to keep a five-man bench for the flexibility it offers late in games. Also, with Cain rejoining the rotation, Yusmeiro Petit returns to his normal long relief role, making Huff the odd man out on the pitching staff.
"We just feel that we’re OK with 12 pitchers right now and we’re better off going with the position player," Bochy said.
Huff hit a rough stretch at the end of May, allowing 10 runs in a span of four outings as his ERA ballooned to 7.27. He did pitch better in his last two appearances, throwing 2 2/3 scoreless, and Bochy said the left-hander was "throwing the ball well."
Huff credited Bochy and the coaches with continuing to use him despite his struggles and said his time with the Giants has been "a great ride. … If I end up clearing waivers and accepting my assignment, I won’t be upset about that," he said.
Sending out Huff means the Giants kept outfielder Juan Perez, who starts in left field tonight against Mets left-hander Jonathon Niese. Here’s the full Giants lineup:
And the Mets’ lineup against Cain:
CF den Dekker
* In other injury news, reliever Santiago Casilla continues to recover speedily from his strained hamstring. Bochy said Casilla is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Saturday, take two days off and then throw a more strenuous session of about 40 pitches Tuesday. The Giants will then decide whether to send Casilla on a rehab assignment.
"He’s close, he’s real close," Bochy said. "In fact we’re having to back him off a little bit -- he’s out there dancing around, he’s raring to go."
Bochy said Casilla is "10 days, two weeks from facing hitters here."
* First baseman Brandon Belt, meanwhile, was scheduled to have the pins taken out of his fractured thumb before tonight’s game. So naturally, Belt, who was in the clubhouse this afternoon, said he spent some time today watching videos of people having pins removed from various body parts.
"That wasn’t such a good idea," Belt said.
Belt said he wasn’t too nervous, though -- Ryan Vogelsong, who had pins inserted in his broken pinkie finger last year, apparently told him the removal doesn’t hurt too badly. Belt said he was still considering whether to videotape the event.
* As successful as the Giants were on their road trip through St. Louis and Cincinnati (5-2), Bochy said it was good for the team to get home. They’ll be spending a lot of time here in the next month -- tonight begins a stretch where the Giants play 20 of 25 games at AT&T Park, and 25 of 35 leading up to the All-Star Break. They’re 19-9 at home so far this season -- the best home record in the majors.