Notes: Broken jaw sidelines Frandsen

Notes: Broken jaw sidelines Frandsen

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants infielder Kevin Frandsen may as well be given the nickname "Rocky," because like the legendary Hollywood boxer, Frandsen's body experienced a high level of pain recently, but that didn't keep him from continuing to play the game he loved.

That tough-guy, never-say-die mentality caught up to him hours before Saturday's game, however, as the Giants were forced to place him on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured left jaw.

Frandsen's injury actually dates back to last Sunday, when he was drilled in the face by a fastball during an at-bat while playing for Triple-A Fresno. According to San Francisco's head trainer, Stan Conte, the middle infielder was evaluated after that game by Fresno's training staff.

The next day he was called up to San Francisco to replace veteran Jose Vizcaino, and when he arrived at PETCO Park in San Diego, he was re-evaluated by the Giants' training team.

"He seemed to be OK, he moved his jaw real well -- obviously we worried about something there, but he didn't seem too bad, and he was able to function for the four days in San Diego real well," Conte said.

But mild soreness in Frandsen's jaw before Friday night's game prompted Conte and his staff to X-ray the impacted region and submit the player to a CT scan.

The X-rays showed the player had fractured his jaw. The CT scans showed the fractures had not moved and that they were not completely cracked through the entire bone, Conte said.

"So after several consultations with different doctors, we decided that he would have his jaw wired shut," Conte said. "And what that does is immobilize the jaw so it doesn't move. The other possibilities were to actually put a plate inside his jaw, but the fractures weren't that bad, so we were lucky not to have to do that."

Frandsen, who made several diving catches when he started Thursday's game in San Diego, was in the Giants training room before Saturday's game, receiving the wires to his jaw. Conte said his jaw would be wired for a minimum of two weeks, at which time the Giants will begin to explore options of returning him to competitive play.

"Part of the reason there was a little delay on this thing was that Kevin's a pretty tough guy," Conte said. "Most people would not have been able to function the next day. Obviously he's a guy that wanted to come to the big leagues and wanted to play."

The news comes as Frandsen smacked his first Major League home run Thursday and just as manager Felipe Alou was beginning to see the 24-year-old make his mark on professional baseball.

"Yeah, I see him as an everyday guy someday," Alou said of the Los Gatos, Calif., native. "I compare him to a guy like Mike Lansing.

"Before I met him, all the Minor League people were so high on that kid. It's almost like they sell you the guy before you see him, and when you see the guy, you see that all those people were right."

Replacing Frandsen on the Major League roster will be Tomas De La Rosa, whose contract was purchased by San Francisco from Fresno on Saturday. To clear room on the 40-man roster for De La Rosa, the Giants designated first baseman Chad Santos for assignment.

Baby Wily Mo's big bonus: Before Saturday's game, the Giants finalized a deal that gave 16-year-old Angel Miguel Villalona the highest signing bonus ever offered to an amateur player in franchise history.

Villalona, known in his native Dominican Republic as "Wily Mo," signed a contract with the Giants that included a $2.1 million dollar signing bonus. The bonus was $750,000 more than San Francisco gave its 2006 first-round draft pick, Tim Lincecum.

Giants general manager Brian Sabean said the Lincecum deal was used as the basis for signing Villalona.

"A year from now, if this kid was draft eligible, as a 17-year-old, 18-year-old kid, he was going to be a legitimate first-round pick," Sabean said. "In our minds, we've signed an extra first-round draft pick."

The third baseman, who turned 16 last Sunday, is nicknamed after Red Sox outfielder Wily Mo Pena, who is also from the Dominican Republic.

"Everybody's excited, especially people on the ground there like [director of Dominican Republic scouting operations] Pablo Peguero," Sabean said. "It's the first time in a while we were in the right place at the right time. [Villalona] wanted to be a Giant, so that helped a lot."

The primary newspaper of the Dominican Republic, Listin Diario, reported Saturday that Villalona was 6-foot-3 and weighed 200 pounds. The paper also compared him Major Leaguers Alex Rodriguez and Adrian Beltre.

Alou, who was reading the Spanish paper's article before Saturday's game, informed reporters that he had been told that Villalona had "the best bat of any Dominican player of his age range."

The newest addition to the Giants family will begin his professional career with the organization in September in the fall Arizona Instructional League.

New save king: Brian Anderson, the crafty closer for Class A San Jose, broke a California League record Friday night when he recorded his 35th save of the season.

Anderson shut the door for the 35th time in 36 tries, breaking the previous record shared by Rafael Chaves (High Desert, 1992) and Bill Everly (San Bernardino, 1999).

Coming up: San Francisco closes out a three-game series against the rival Dodgers at 1:05 p.m. PT on Sunday, when Matt Morris (8-10, 4.62 ERA) goes head-to-head with Los Angeles right-hander Derek Lowe (10-8, 3.97).

Coley Harvey is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.