Giants activate Hill, option reliever Okert

Giants activate Hill, option reliever Okert

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants activated veteran utility man Aaron Hill (right forearm strain) from the 10-day disabled list Friday and optioned left-handed reliever Steven Okert to Triple-A Sacramento.

Hill returns to the Giants following an eight-game rehab stint between Class A Advanced San Jose and Triple-A Sacramento. He went 4-for-17 (.235) in five contests with the River Cats -- including a 2-for-5 effort with a triple, a homer and three RBIs on Tuesday.

"It's always good to be back," Hill said. "No injury is fun. The process to get back, you can't rush it. Just got to do what it takes to get it to heal."

The 35-year-old hasn't played for San Francisco since April 22, but gives the club some depth while left fielder Eduardo Nunez deals with a nagging left hamstring strain. Manager Bruce Bochy said Hill will play "everywhere" in the infield and could also get some time in the outfield. Hill has appeared at second base, third base and in left field this season. He has a .120/.241/.240 slash line in 25 at-bats with San Francisco across 12 games.

"A veteran presence who is going to help us off the bench, pinch-hitting, those things," Bochy said. "He got some at-bats down there. He's ready to go."

Hill said the injury only affected him in the field, so it was just a matter of getting repetitions to rebuild his arm strength.

"It's just like Spring Training," Hill said. "Obviously, it doesn't take as long to get going. Just when you feel like you're ready, and you feel your rhythm and your timing. Just a matter of whenever they feel like making the move."

Okert's demotion also means the club will keep struggling rookie Christian Arroyo, who got off to a hot start but entered Friday 0-for-16 in his previous four contests, dropping his average to .191.

"[Arroyo] is too valuable for us right now," Bochy said. "This kid's gone through some struggles here. Right now, we're going to stay behind him."

Okert posted a 6.23 ERA in 19 appearances for the Giants, with seven strikeouts and six walks in 13 innings. Bochy said the organization wants to stretch out Okert in Sacramento to give him more innings, with the hope it can help the 25-year-old improve his command. Josh Osich (4.50 ERA) is now San Francisco's lone southpaw in the bullpen.

"I do think the stuff is going to work and I do think he's throwing more strikes," Bochy said of Osich. "Overall, I do think he has been throwing well."

Worth noting

Bochy offered updates on a few rehabbing Giants on Friday. Infielder Conor Gillaspie (back spasms) could be reinstated from the 10-day disabled list in the near future. Southpaw Madison Bumgarner (bruised ribs, shoulder AC strain) is scheduled to throw off flat ground during the six-game homestand. Outfielder Hunter Pence (left hamstring strain) is about four or five days away from beginning a rehab assignment.

Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Giants on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.