Bullpen's effectiveness takes pressure off Lopez

Bullpen's effectiveness takes pressure off Lopez

PHOENIX -- Being the lone left-hander in the Giants' bullpen, though that's only temporary, won't change Javier Lopez's daily approach.

"One of the benefits we have as a bullpen is that we have guys who can come in and get righties and lefties out," Lopez said Tuesday, referring to the club's right-handed relievers. "It doesn't change my preparation by any means. Obviously, availability is more of a priority for me, to make sure I do everything to get ready to go."

Lopez contributed significantly to Monday's 6-4 triumph over Arizona, striking out left-handers Miguel Montero and Jason Kubel in the eighth inning.

But, as Lopez mentioned, the Giants have a pair of right-handers at their disposal who have performed competently against left-handed hitters in a setup role: Jean Machi (.100, 1-for-10) and George Kontos (.250, 4-for-16). Closer Sergio Romo also has been effective against lefties (.231, 6-for-26).

The Giants' complement of left-handed relievers could grow as early as Friday, when Jeremy Affeldt is likely to be reinstated from the disabled list. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said that Affeldt will face hitters in an extended spring training game Wednesday at Tempe, which is expected to be the final hurdle of his recovery from a strained right side.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.