The Giants continue to test the extent of their organizational infield depth.
Before Wednesday’s game against the A’s, the Giants placed second baseman Joe Panik on the seven-day concussion disabled list with symptoms related to when he was struck in the helmet by a pitch from Tampa Bay’s Matt Moore on June 18.
Manager Bruce Bochy said tests confirmed Panik, who did not start having symptoms until Monday, has a “mild concussion.” Bochy expressed hope Panik’s absence might be limited to seven days, but acknowledged the caution required with head injuries.
“We have experienced with a couple (of) other players a different scenario, where it took a little bit longer,” Bochy said. “But we’re hoping after seven (days) he’ll be ready to go.”
The Giants now have four infielders from their Opening Day roster on the DL: Panik, Matt Duffy, Ehire Adrianza and Kelby Tomlinson. To replace Panik, they purchased the contract of Ruben Tejada from Triple-A Sacramento. Pitcher Chris Heston was recalled and put on the 60-day DL with an oblique strain to make a 40-man roster spot for Tejada.
Tejada, who started the season with St. Louis, signed a minor-league deal with the Giants on June 14 and played 11 games with the Triple-A River Cats, batting .205 (9 for 55). Tejada is primarily a middle infielder but will be the Giants’ third baseman against left-handed starters for now, Bochy said.
“He’s got experience, I think he’ll bring good defense,” Bochy said. “We’re going to be facing some lefties, so his bat hopefully will help on the back end of the order.”
Tejada said he learned he’d be joining the Giants on Tuesday night. He is in the starting lineup Wednesday against A’s left-hander Sean Manaea, playing third and batting ninth.
“That’s the goal, that’s why I signed here,” Tejada said. “You hear about this group a lot as a winning team. My mentality when I signed (was) try to stay ready. I’m here now and I’m ready and happy, too.”
Tejada started this season on the DL with a quad strain, and after being designated by the Cardinals, he had about a two-week layoff before signing with the Giants. He said he did “a lot of extra work” in Sacramento to regain his hitting timing and also played a few games at third base to get comfortable there.
As a third baseman, Tejada likely won’t be involved in any double plays at the second-base bag. Tejada was the Mets infielder who had his leg broken by the Dodgers’ Chase Utley’s takeout slide during last year’s National League Championship Series. That led to a Major League Baseball rule change this year governing slides at second base.
Tejada said his leg is completely healed from the play. And he said he didn’t give much thought when he signed with the Giants that he was joining the Dodgers’ rivals.
“Right now for me it’s history,” Tejada said of last year’s NLCS. “I can’t do anything with that. At that time, there’s a little frustration for me because it’s a playoff. That’s why I had a little bit of frustration in that moment. But right now I feel good, feel healthy again and I’m ready.”
▪ Bochy said reliever Sergio Romo (elbow) is scheduled to make rehab appearances on Thursday and Friday with Triple-A Sacramento.
▪ Tomlinson (thumb) is scheduled to start a rehab assignment this weekend with High-A San Jose, where he’ll DH, and then join the River Cats and resume playing in the field.
▪ Bochy also said everyone in his bullpen is available after Tuesday night’s 13-11 loss to the A’s, in which the relief corps gave up 10 runs over the final four innings.
Oakland – The A’s bullpen is taxed at the moment, and their roster move reflected that. Oakland activated Manaea from the disabled list to start against the Giants and optioned infielder Arismendy Alcantara down to Triple-A Nashville, leaving the A’s with a three-man bench Wednesday.
“We need an extra arm in the bullpen tonight,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said, “for obvious reasons.”
Sean Doolittle was not available Tuesday because of a heavy workload over the previous week, and Melvin said he was waiting until after Doolittle played catch Wednesday to determine his availability. Ryan Madson pitched the final two innings Tuesday night and threw 43 pitches, ruling him out for at least one game.
Melvin said Madson could need a couple of days. “But it wouldn’t surprise me if he were to say he’s ready tomorrow,” Melvin said.
John Axford, meanwhile, has allowed nine runs in his last seven games, though Melvin said he thinks Axford’s struggles are “probably as much mental as physical; we’re not seeing a dip in velocity or anything like that.”
The A’s play 20 games in 20 days leading into the All-Star break, and Melvin said they may need to continue with a short bench during that stretch because of the bullpen issues.
“We’ll see how temporary that is,” Melvin said.