Giants make final roster surprise, go with 13-man pitching staff

Infielder Adrianza designated for assignment

Giants make final roster surprise, go with 13-man pitching staff

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants reached their 25-man Opening Night roster limit in mildly surprising fashion Sunday, designating infielder Ehire Adrianza for assignment and keeping a 13-man pitching staff, one pitcher more than usual.

Of course, the two developments are related.

Giants general manager Bobby Evans explained that the club felt compelled to begin the season with an oversized pitching contingent, due to a season-opening stretch of 14 consecutive games and whatever lingering fatigue affecting any of the pitchers in the wake of last year's arduous postseason.

"Having seen our pitching staff go to the wall," as Evans put it.

Thus, right-handers George Kontos and Jean Machi, who were competing for the final bullpen spot, both made the club.

"To start the season with an extra guy who also can pitch in the middle of the game is an added depth benefit for us," Evans said.

The victim of the necessity for an extra pitcher was Adrianza, the 25-year-old who was slick defensively but limited offensively. He batted .224 in 25 Cactus League games, virtually matching his regular-season performance as a rookie last year -- a .237/.279/.299 slash line in 53 games.

Adrianza was eclipsed by infielder Matt Duffy, who hit .361 in 26 spring games while diversifying himself defensively by playing second base, shortstop and third base. He initially impressed the Giants with his performance off the bench last year as a rookie, batting .400 (6-for-15) as a pinch hitter.

"Duffy had a great spring," Evans said. "His versatility and his bat really helped him make the club."

As anticipated, right fielder Hunter Pence (fractured left forearm), right-hander Erik Cordier (right forearm strain) and first baseman/left fielder Travis Ishikawa (lower back strain) were placed on the 15-day disabled list with their respective ailments.

The defending World Series champion Giants open their season Monday at Arizona.

San Francisco's roster includes the following players:

Pitchers (13): Left-handers Jeremy Affeldt, Javier Lopez and Madison Bumgarner; right-handers Matt Cain, Santiago Casilla, Tim Hudson, George Kontos, Tim Lincecum, Jean Machi, Jake Peavy, Yusmeiro Petit, Sergio Romo and Ryan Vogelsong.

Catchers (2): Buster Posey and Hector Sanchez.

Infielders (6): Joaquin Arias, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Matt Duffy, Casey McGehee, Joe Panik.

Outfielders (4): Nori Aoki, Gregor Blanco, Justin Maxwell, Angel Pagan.

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.