Velez takes demotion in stride

Velez takes demotion in stride

PHOENIX -- Eugenio Velez probably knew what was up when he was called into Giants manager Bruce Bochy's office Wednesday night at Chase Field prior to the game against the D-backs.

The outfielder-infielder was told by Bochy and general manager Brian Sabean that he had been optioned to Triple-A Fresno to make room on the 25-man roster for second baseman Freddy Sanchez. Sanchez came off the 15-disabled list after recovering from extensive surgery on his left shoulder.

When Velez emerged from behind the closed door, there were hugs all the way around. He batted .196 with two homers and eight RBIs in 19 games spread over two stints with the Giants.

"He was a little disappointed as they usually are," Bochy said. "But he understood. I think he knew that he was here for the short term until Freddy was ready. Now he'll go down and continue to play so he's ready if something else happens."

Matt Downs, whom Sanchez replaced at second base, is hitting .269 with a homer and six RBIs, including the two-run, 12th-inning double that put the Giants ahead for good in a 7-6 win over the Padres in San Diego on Tuesday night. Bochy said Downs will become a valuable utility player if Sanchez remains healthy.

"We'll have Downsie take some ground balls at third," Bochy said. "He'll take some fly balls in the outfield. We'll move him around. The way he's swinging we'll use him as a right-handed pinch-hitter coming off the bench."