OAKLAND -- The Giants' final roster moves Saturday included a surprise that leaves them with an uncertain bullpen situation for at least the first two weeks of the regular season. Closer Armando Benitez was placed on the 15-day disabled list with left knee bursitis, a decision that was cemented after the 34-year-old right-hander gave up four runs in the eighth inning of the Giants' 14-3 exhibition loss to Oakland at McAfee Coliseum. Benitez finished the spring with a 23.48 ERA in seven appearances while struggling with inflammation in the knee, which caused him to sit out more than a week and required a cortisone shot at one point.
Saturday's outing convinced Giants manager Felipe Alou that all still wasn't right, even though Benitez had logged plenty of work over the last week trying to get himself ready for the season. Alou summoned Benitez into the visiting manager's office soon after the game to inform him of the decision, and Benitez offered no objection. "I'm OK with it, really, honestly," Benitez said. "I can't come into the game like this. I want to come into the game and do what I always do. [Can I do that] right now? No." Benitez offered a positive sign of his readiness Friday, pitching a scoreless inning. On Saturday, he said his arm was fine but his windup and mechanics were "terrible." Alou was convinced that Benitez's DL stay would be a short one -- unlike last season, when he was sidelined for more than three months with a pair of torn tendons in his right hamstring. "We wanted to give him that time," Alou said. "We're pretty sure he's going to come back and be OK." While not committing to a definite ninth-inning option in Benitez's absence, Alou continued to tout veteran right-hander Tim Worrell's 38-save season in 2003, before he left the Giants for Philadelphia as a free agent. Worrell was re-signed last offseason to be a setup man, and he would have preferred that Benitez was healthy. "I'll do what I can to get outs no matter what inning I'm pitching," Worrell said. "But we need Armando back." More moves: The Giants also made veteran catcher Todd Greene's addition to the Major League roster official Saturday by purchasing his contract. Their other transactions were as follows: Right-hander Kevin Correia, outfielder Todd Linden and catcher Eliezer Alfonzo were optioned to Triple-A Fresno; infielder Angel Chavez was designated for assignment; and infielder Kevin Frandsen and outfielder Abraham Nunez were reassigned to Minor League camp.
Edward de la Fuente is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.