ATLANTA -- Right fielder Carlos Beltran's playing status is "doubtful" for the rest of the Giants' series in Atlanta, manager Bruce Bochy said Monday.
Though Bochy didn't say so, Beltran, who missed his seventh game in a row with a strained right hand, appears even more likely to go on the 15-day disabled list. Though the Giants have resisted making that move, Bochy indicated that they could officially sideline Beltran as early as Tuesday.
"If there's no improvement or very little improvement, we may have to make a call," Bochy said.
Bochy acknowledged that operating with what's essentially a 24-man roster hasn't hampered him yet. With Brandon Belt, Cody Ross, Aaron Rowand and Nate Schierholtz, the Giants have a full complement of outfielders. Utility player Mark DeRosa also has outfield experience. But the club won't hesitate to shelve Beltran and summon a replacement if or when the switch-hitter's unavailability limits Bochy's deployment of personnel.
Though batting right-handed bothers Beltran less than hitting left-handed, he won't be used as a pinch-hitter from either side of the plate. Bochy said that he wouldn't ask Beltran to pinch-hit unless he was physically able to take pregame batting practice on the field.
Beltran, acquired from the Mets on July 28 for right-handed pitching prospect Zack Wheeler, remained in the trainers' room until the Giants left the visitors' clubhouse for batting practice. He was seen at one point squeezing a rubber ball in his right hand for strength and flexibility.