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Giants designate Huff for assignment

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants dropped left-hander David Huff from their pitching contingent, but they'd prefer that his departure is only temporary.

Huff, 29, was designated for assignment on Friday to clear room on the roster for right-hander Matt Cain, who started the series opener against the Mets.

The move left San Francisco with a 12-man pitching staff and a bench consisting of five position players, giving manager Bruce Bochy personnel flexibility that he hasn't always enjoyed this season.

Had the Giants retained Huff, they almost certainly would have optioned outfielder Juan Perez back to Triple-A Fresno, which would have forced Bochy to operate with an undermanned bench. The right-handed-hitting Perez started in left field on Friday against Mets lefty Jon Niese.

Nevertheless, Bochy expressed hope that Huff will clear waivers, which will enable the Giants to re-sign him. In that event, Bochy said, Huff likely would join Fresno's rotation.

"We'd be glad to have him back," Bochy said.

Huff reciprocated Bochy's sentiment.

"There's no hard feelings," Huff said. "I appreciate what this organization has done for me. If I end up clearing waivers and accepting my assignment, I won't be upset about that."

The Giants signed Huff shortly before Spring Training to add both starting and long-relief depth. He made the Opening Day roster but soon was hampered by a strained left quadriceps, an injury that put him on the DL. He went 1-0 with a 6.30 ERA in 16 appearances, six of which were multiple-inning outings.

Subtracting back-to-back performances against the Cubs on May 26 and Cardinals on May 30, in which he yielded four runs in each game, Huff recorded a 2.70 ERA.

That at least partly accounted for his surprise when Bochy and pitching coach Dave Righetti informed him of his fate.

"It was tough to hear the news," Huff said, "but ultimately, when it comes to this line of work, it's a business. You can't forget about that."

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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