SAN FRANCISCO -- As anticipated, the Giants placed second baseman Freddy Sanchez on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a strained left shoulder and recalled infielder Ryan Rohlinger from Triple-A Fresno. Sanchez, 31, had hoped to return during last weekend's Colorado series. But his shoulder never fully responded to treatment or rest, and trying to swing pained him. Sanchez's DL assignment was made retroactive to Aug. 18, the day after he last played. He'll be eligible for activation on Sept. 2, when the Giants are playing a series in Philadelphia.
Eugenio Velez will serve as San Francisco's primary second baseman in Sanchez's absence. Since Velez had been playing frequently in left field, this will create more playing time for right fielder Nate Schierholtz (with Randy Winn moving to left) and possibly Fred Lewis. But in the Giants' ideal world, their lineup would feature Sanchez, the 2006 National League batting champion, hitting second. Combined with the absence of third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who's expected to be shelved for a couple of days with a strained right calf, the Giants were bereft of two .300 hitters as they opened a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Aware that the Giants acquired him from Pittsburgh on July 29 to bolster the club's offense, Sanchez apologized to the fans, teammates and the organization. Nursing a knee injury upon joining the Giants, he had played in 13 of a possible 24 games before going on the DL. "I got traded here for a reason, and that's to play," said Sanchez, who was obtained for right-handed pitching prospect Tim Alderson. "For me not to be out there hurts." Giants manager Bruce Bochy sympathized with Sanchez. "I'm sure he feels like he's letting the team and the fans down. But that's not the case," Bochy said. "When you're hurt, you're hurt. ... This gives him time to get 100 percent [healthy], which I think is a smart move. We're going to need him in September." Sanchez, batting .297 overall and .304 with the Giants, injured himself approximately two weeks ago while taking extra batting practice in an indoor cage. He played through the discomfort, which became too extreme to ignore even as he went 2-for-4 in his last game Aug. 17 at New York. "I obviously wasn't myself," Sanchez said. Sanchez was in the on-deck circle in the 13th inning of Monday's 6-4, 14-inning loss at Colorado, but he was functioning as a decoy to force the Rockies to pitch to Schierholtz, who drew a walk. "I wanted to go in that batter's box so bad. But it wasn't really an option, I guess," Sanchez said. "It wouldn't have been smart [to try to swing]." Sanchez, who will refrain from baseball-related activities for at least a few days, indicated that he'll need a Minor League rehabilitation assignment to regain his form before he returns to the Giants. Minor League seasons end Sept. 7, giving him several days to accumulate at-bats if he recovers sufficiently by the end of his DL assignment, at the latest. Rohlinger batted .281 with 37 doubles, 16 home runs and 78 RBIs in 126 games for Fresno. He hit just.094 in 21 games for the Giants while making his Major League debut last season but displayed punch in Spring Training this year, batting .269 with four homers and 11 RBIs over 26 at-bats in 19 games. Due to Sandoval's injury, Bochy said that Rohlinger was the Giants' clear choice for promotion, since third base is the 25-year-old's primary position.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.