Reliever Affeldt heads to DL with sprained knee

Reliever Affeldt heads to DL with sprained knee

Reliever Affeldt heads to DL with sprained knee
SAN FRANCISCO -- Suffice it to say that Jeremy Affeldt's caller ID strikes fear into the hearts of the Giants' medical staff.

"The trainers are tired of getting that call -- 'Hey, I'm at home and I hurt myself,'" Affeldt said.

Affeldt experienced more bad domestic luck Saturday night as he sprained his right knee while hoisting his son, Walker, for an embrace. Following an MRI and a few examinations, the Giants placed the left-hander on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday.

San Francisco purchased the contract of left-hander Travis Blackley from Triple-A Fresno to replace Affeldt on the active roster. Fresno outfielder Tyler Graham was designated for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot for Blackley.

Affeldt's 2011 season ended last September when he cut his right hand while attempting to separate frozen hamburger patties. As Affeldt himself readily pointed out, his injuries have tended to be of a freak nature: He tore his left oblique in 2010, though left-handers typically injure the right one; in 2005 he tore his left groin tendon off the bone, a relatively rare injury among baseball players; and in 2002-03 he endured blisters on his left middle finger that forced removal of half his fingernail.

This time, Affeldt returned home and soon encountered Walker, who jumped off the couch to give Dad an enthusiastic welcome. Despite being only 4 years old, Walker already stands 4 1/2 feet tall and weighs 60 pounds. So catching Walker wasn't a routine play for Affeldt.

"When he jumped, I kind of caught him weird and my knee kind of shifted in a little bit and I felt some pressure on the knee," Affeldt said.

Manager Bruce Bochy said that Affeldt, who was 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA in 10 appearances, could be ready to pitch again in seven to 10 days. But the Giants, obviously unwilling to play shorthanded for that long a stretch, opted to shelve the 10-year veteran.

"It's not easy to replace an experienced guy like Jeremy. But we think that the way Blackley throws, we can fill this hole," Bochy said, expressing hopes that Affeldt's absence won't rock the bullpen.

Blackley, the Australian who made two starts for the Giants in 2007, was 3-0 with a 0.39 ERA in four games (three starts) with Fresno. Graham was batting .263 in five games.