Okert returns with no hard feelings

Okert returns with no hard feelings

SAN DIEGO -- Left-hander Steven Okert insisted that he bore no hard feelings toward the Giants organization or anybody in it after being optioned to Triple-A Sacramento last week.

Okert joined the Giants on Friday to replace right-hander Hunter Strickland on the active roster. Strickland requested paternity leave to be with his wife, Shelley, who expects to give birth to the couple's first child.

Few Giants, if any, outperformed Okert during Spring Training. He recorded a 0.93 ERA in 11 appearances, yielding one earned run in 9 2/3 innings. Opponents batted a mere .125 off him.

However, Okert had Minor League options remaining, making him vulnerable to a demotion that would enable the Giants to retain another player who had no options left.

This didn't disturb Okert when he was sent to Sacramento.

"Obviously, it would have been nice to be on a Major League Opening Day roster for the first time," said Okert, 25. "But I know the situation, having options. It was out of my control. ... You can't let it affect you."

Span update: Overcoming his stiff left hip, Giants center fielder Denard Span increased the variety of his pregame baseball-related activities and hopes to rejoin the lineup Saturday. He was out of the lineup Friday for the fourth consecutive game.

Span said that he wanted to "make sure my legs are under me" before returning to his everyday role.

There was some concern about Span's ailment, since he had the same hip surgically repaired in 2015. But, Span said, "I don't think what has happened has anything to do with the surgery."

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. 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.