Opportunity knocks for Rohlinger

Opportunity knocks for Rohlinger

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Ryan Rohlinger's arrival in Major League camp proves that those substitution-filled late innings during exhibition games aren't so meaningless after all.

Imported from Minor League camp to appear in six scattered exhibitions, mostly to fill out the roster in split-squad games, Rohlinger was 4-for-10 with a grand slam and seven RBIs entering Wednesday. The Giants rewarded him by adding him to the Major League spring contingent as a non-roster invitee.

"I'm just getting some good pitches to hit," said Rohlinger, who started at third base on Wednesday and went 0-for-3 in the Giants' 4-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs. "Luckily, there are guys on base when I come up."

Rohlinger is in camp partly to give the Giants depth at third. Rich Aurilia (right elbow) won't return to the field until Friday at the earliest, and when he does, it will likely be at first base. Kevin Frandsen (left Achilles') is sidelined for three to four days.

A 24-year-old who spent last season at low Class A Augusta, Rohlinger doesn't fit the profile of a prospect. But, when asked if Rohlinger had joined the mix of competitors at third base, manager Bruce Bochy diplomatically said, "He's here." Bochy added, "We're staying open-minded. Every time we brought him over, the kid's doing something."

Rohlinger hit only .235 at Augusta, although he garnished that with 31 doubles, 18 home runs and 78 RBIs. His slugging complemented a team of speedsters who stole 212 bases.

"He's a kid who could have had real big numbers last year if he wasn't in a position to have to protect some of the guys who were runners," general manager Brian Sabean said. "He hit with two strikes a lot."

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.