Versatile Stratton gives SF rotation flexibility

Versatile Stratton gives SF rotation flexibility

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants' rotation shuffles continued Saturday, when they tabbed Madison Bumgarner to start the series finale against the Cardinals while bumping up Jeff Samardzija for Saturday's start. 

Samardzija, who took Chris Stratton's scheduled spot, spun his fourth career shutout Monday against the Padres. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he was prepared to summon Stratton in Friday's 11-6 loss to the Cardinals. The game was tied in the ninth.

"Strat's got experience pitching in the 'pen," Bochy said. "We're a little short right now and we need some help there."

But if Stratton, who owns a career 2-2 record and 2.67 ERA as a starter, doesn't pitch out of the bullpen Saturday or Sunday, the Giants are "leaning toward" using him Monday in the series opener against the Rox in Denver.

"He's going to get his innings in," Bochy said of Stratton. "We just happen to have six starters right now. Trying to keep them all going. He [Stratton] has the most experience of being a swingman, even though he's young -- it's been his role. He's done such a great job of it that we don't think it's affecting him."

Stratton's scoreless start

Should Stratton go Monday, Matt Moore will likely be bumped back to the team's series against the White Sox with Ty Blach starting Tuesday. Bochy said the decision officially is TBD.

"Moore could help us out in the 'pen or he could pitch in Chicago," Bochy said.

Johnny Cueto could pitch the Colorado series finale on Wednesday. Cueto allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings Friday in his first Major League game in 1 1/2 months.

"It's kind of where we have him lined up," Bochy said. "We're going to try and stay flexible here depending on what happens."

Worth noting

• Outfielder Austin Slater begin his rehab assignment at Triple-A Sacramento Friday, going 1-for-3 in five innings. He's due to play seven innings Saturday.

"He got through it fine," Bochy said.

Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.