Maxwell odd man out as Giants add players

Pagan, Hudson activated; Hall, Noonan brought up from Triple-A

Maxwell odd man out as Giants add players

LOS ANGELES -- The Giants added five players Tuesday, seizing upon the arrival of September and, with it, the carte blanche to expand active rosters. But the biggest surprise of all may have been the lone subtraction: reserve outfielder Justin Maxwell, who was designated for assignment.

San Francisco's other moves involved reinstating right-hander Tim Hudson and center fielder Angel Pagan from the 15-day disabled list, recalling catcher Hector Sanchez and right-hander Cody Hall from Triple-A Sacramento and purchasing the contract of infielder Nick Noonan from Sacramento.

Summoning Noonan necessitated removing somebody from the 40-man roster. The choice was Maxwell, whose stint with the Giants initially appeared charmed. He made the Opening Night squad as a non-roster invitee to Spring Training and contributed several key early-season hits, including a walk-off single in the 10th inning against the Dodgers on April 23. Maxwell had followed the Giants closely as a youth, since his father's favorite player was Willie Mays.

However, Maxwell had struggled lately. He was in a 9-for-52 (.173) tailspin that included one hit in his previous 19 at-bats. Overall, he hit .209 with seven home runs, 26 RBIs and a .275 on-base percentage in 100 games for San Francisco.

Maxwell, 31, declined to comment. "I'm not doing interviews," he said.

Transferring right-hander Tim Lincecum (hip condition) from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL would have created a 40-man roster vacancy that might have saved Maxwell's job. But, Giants general manager Bobby Evans said, "We're going to need to do that at some point, most likely for a pitcher's spot."

Moreover, Evans added, the Giants sorely needed a backup infielder with shortstop Brandon Crawford still hurting, utility man Ehire Adrianza providing scant offense and third baseman Matt Duffy playing tirelessly -- even after spraining his right ankle. Also, the Giants suddenly have a surplus of outfielders, given Pagan's return from a knee injury and Alejandro De Aza's arrival following Monday night's trade that brought him from Boston to San Francisco.

Noonan spent much of 2013 with the Giants, batting .219 in 62 games. This year, he batted .266 in 19 games with Sacramento after hitting .262 in 67 games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate. Noonan rejoined the Giants organization Aug. 7 after New York released him.

Unlike the other callups, Hall, 27, will make his Major League debut with his first appearance. He was 1-3 with a 3.46 ERA and three saves in 43 appearances for Sacramento.

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