WASHINGTON -- The Giants placed relief pitcher Dan Runzler on the 15-day disabled list Friday, and he's expected to miss six to eight weeks after dislocating his left kneecap during his first Major League at-bat Thursday in Milwaukee.
Runzler dislocated the kneecap while fouling off a pitch in the seventh inning. His spikes got caught in the clay, and his kneecap popped out. It went back into place, but the left-hander had an MRI Friday in Washington and said no surgery would be needed, with the major ligaments being fine.
"I'm happy there's no surgery required, and now I'm just going to work to get back on the field and do whatever the trainers tell me," Runzler said. "It's happened. It's over now."
The Giants called up right-handed relief pitcher Joe Martinez to replace Runzler. He arrived before Friday's series opener with the Nationals, and manager Bruce Bochy said the team will use Martinez mainly in long relief. But they'll also call on him in other spots.
Bochy said he's glad that Runzler's situation didn't end up worse.
"That's good news that it didn't show any other damage in there," Bochy said. "Still, you feel awful, and it's baseball, but it looks like it's going to be a little while here."
In addition, Runzler couldn't finish the at-bat and had to leave with a 1-2 count. Fellow pitcher Madison Bumgarner came on and struck out, but Runzler was credited with the at-bat.