SAN FRANCISCO -- After 21 consecutive scoreless innings, the Giants were looking for a way to shake up their offense, and Triple-A outfielder Nate Schierholtz might just be up for the task. Schierholtz was added to the Giants' roster before Monday's game against Toronto, and outfielder Daniel Ortmeier was optioned back to Fresno to make room. Schierholtz wasn't in Monday's starting lineup, but he played right field in the ninth inning, fielding a fly ball for the first out of the frame to a raucous ovation from a large group of friends and family. He will likely see more playing time on Wednesday when Barry Bonds is scheduled to rest. With outfielder Fred Lewis injured, manager Bruce Bochy said he wanted to add another left-handed bat to the lineup, especially before the team takes off for a three-game series in Boston where Bonds will DH. Of course, Schierholtz's .347 average and 33 RBIs posted with the Fresno Grizzlies this season probably factored into the decision to bring him up.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound outfielder was a candidate for the Giants' lineup earlier this season, but an ill-timed injury left him recovering in the Minors. This was in May when Dave Roberts started having elbow problems, and Bochy considered Schierholtz a likely replacement if Roberts went to the DL. Roberts ended up on the DL, but it was unfortunate timing for Schierholtz, who smacked into the outfield wall going for a fly ball a few days before. By the time Schierholtz recovered, Ortmeier and Lewis had already been called up. But it wasn't Schierholtz's missed opportunity nor the Giants' stagnant offense that cost Ortmeier a trip back to the Minors. "It's a better fit right now," Bochy said. "This is one of those cases where Danny's not going down because of his playing. He got some big hits and big home runs for us." Ortmeier joined the Giants on May 10 and became a reliable bat in clutch situations. Ortmeier hit two game-tying home runs in his short stay and was batting .314 in his nine starts. He left Monday with a .269 batting average, but it probably won't be the last Ortmeier sees of the bigs this year. "Given the job he did and the injuries we've had already, I think he's shown he can play up here and handle himself," Bochy said. Over the knife: After seeking a second opinion, backup catcher Eliezer Alfonzo was relieved to hear he could rehab his knee without surgery on a severely sprained posterior cruciate ligament. Alfonzo, who injured the knee in a home-plate collision Friday, said he prayed all day and night Sunday that it wouldn't come down to season-ending surgery, and 49ers physician Michael Dillingham answered his prayers Monday. "Thank God," Alfonzo said. "Now I have the strength and energy to come back and help the team." Alfonzo was optimistic that he could be back around the All-Star break, but Bochy realistically pointed out that he'll be wearing a brace for at least four to six weeks.
Becky Regan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.