Giants place Kontos on DL; Heston to Minors

Club recalls pitchers Broadway, Okert from Triple-A

Giants place Kontos on DL; Heston to Minors

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants' bullpen underwent plenty of change Tuesday, but not necessarily upheaval.

Right-handers George Kontos went to the 15-day disabled list and Chris Heston descended to Triple-A Sacramento's starting rotation. Meanwhile, the Giants recalled right-hander Mike Broadway and left-hander Steven Okert from Sacramento.

Okert made his MLB debut in Tuesday night's 3-0 loss to the D-backs, pitching the eighth and ninth innings with two strikeouts, two walks and no runs allowed, while Broadway relieved Cain in the fifth and hurled a scoreless frame with a pair of strikeouts.

Okert's first career strikeout

Though much shuffling occurred, Giants manager Bruce Bochy, a skilled cardplayer, still had essentially the same deck.

That's largely because Kontos believed that the strained flexor tendon in his throwing elbow shouldn't sideline him beyond the minimum duration of his DL stint. And Bochy expressed confidence in Broadway's and Okert's ability to pitch multiple innings and combine to handle Heston's long-relief role.

Broadway shuts the door

Typically, the arrivals in such roster moves are more intriguing than the departures. This instance might have been different, due to the course of action taken with Heston and the possibility that Kontos could return in early May.

The Giants' braintrust wants Heston to pitch regularly, hence his assignment to Sacramento's rotation. That seems to be the most optimal way for Heston to build upon his 2015 rookie season, when he no-hit the Mets and finished 12-11 with a 3.95 ERA. The latter figure contrasted sharply with his 10.80 ERA in four games this year.

"The best thing for us as a team and for him is to get his game back," Bochy said.

Heston fans Wood

Should Heston return to form -- one National League scout said that his velocity had diminished by about 4-5 mph -- the Giants simply could plug him back into long relief. Or he could be summoned to reinforce the big league starting rotation, which entered Tuesday's game against Arizona with a 5.09 ERA, the NL's fifth-highest figure.

Kontos, who appeared in eight of the Giants' first 13 games and recorded a 1.59 ERA, said that he initially felt physical discomfort late in Spring Training. "It was something that was very manageable and it was not a big deal. I was getting through it," he said. But the intensity of the regular season and the frequency of his outings ultimately made the physical stress intolerable.

"I didn't quite bounce back the way I normally bounce back," Kontos said. "That's when I kind of said something. ... I think it was better to say something and get it looked at properly so we can address it properly and not have it be more than the 15 days I think I'm going to miss."

Broadway was 0-2 with a 5.19 ERA in 21 appearances last year with the Giants -- his first Major League stint after 10 years in the Minors. Okert, ranked San Francisco's No. 16 prospect by MLBPipeline.com, compiled a 3.82 ERA and amassed 68 strikeouts in 61 1/3 innings spanning 52 appearances for Sacramento last year.

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.