The Giants added an arm to their bullpen and solved a rotation dilemma with one roster move Thursday.
The Giants put Matt Cain on the 15-day disabled list and activated Cory Gearrin before the opener of a four-game series against the New York Mets. Manager Bruce Bochy said that Cain, who allowed six runs in Wednesday’s 6-5 loss to Pittsburgh, has a lower-back strain.
“He said he was feeling it right after the game; it was grabbing him pretty good,” Bochy said. “He’s in there getting treatment.”
The timing works out for the Giants, who needed a way to bring Gearrin back onto their major-league roster. Gearrin was one of their most reliable relief pitchers before going on the DL on July 6 because of a strained shoulder. He has made eight rehab appearances with Triple-A Sacramento, allowing one run on five hits in eight innings.
Gearrin pitched for the River Cats on Wednesday, but Bochy said he will be available out of the bullpen Thursday night.
With Cain out, the Giants are free to skip his next turn in the rotation and line up their top three starters – Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto and Matt Moore – for next week’s series against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Bochy confirmed that is the plan.
Cain said following Wednesday’s game he would be disappointed if the Giants skipped his turn against the Dodgers and did not mention back pain. Bochy, though, said that Cain was getting treatment on his back Thursday afternoon.
The Giants will not need a fifth starter until Aug. 27 against the Braves. Bochy said Jake Peavy is a possibility to start that game. He also said that if Cain is able to return after 15 days he will rejoin the rotation Sept. 2.