Velez recalled to strengthen Giants' bench

Velez recalled to strengthen Giants' bench

LOS ANGELES -- Seeking increased flexibility on the bench, the Giants recalled outfielder-infielder Eugenio Velez from Triple-A Fresno on Monday and optioned right-hander Joe Martinez to that club.

Thus ended the Giants' dalliance with a 13-man pitching staff, which began July 1 when catcher Bengie Molina was traded to Texas, and right-hander Chris Ray, one of two pitchers San Francisco received from the Rangers, joined San Francisco's bullpen.

Martinez (0-1, 4.00 ERA) was the pitcher most vulnerable to a demotion, having appeared in only three games in two stints with the Giants.

Meanwhile, manager Bruce Bochy not only wanted a deeper bench but needed insurance in case third baseman Pablo Sandoval had reported to Dodger Stadium on Monday with the same tight hip and hamstring that forced him to leave Sunday's 10-inning, 4-3 loss to the New York Mets. "We didn't know how well he would be doing," Bochy said. "That's what really got us as much as anything."

Though a refreshed Sandoval was in the lineup for the series opener against the Dodgers, Bochy indicated he still could use another player. The Giants considered Ryan Rohlinger, who's batting .317 in 40 games and, as a third baseman, would have been a natural replacement for Sandoval. But Velez, who hit .351 in his last nine games with Fresno to lift his overall average to .311 in 58 games, provides switch-hitting ability, speed and experience at playing both second base and the outfield.

"Right now Velez is a little better fit than Rohlinger," Bochy said.