SAN FRANCISCO -- A Giants outfielder went on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a broken bone in his left hand, but it wasn't Aaron Rowand.
The unlucky Giant turned out to be Daniel Ortmeier, who, manager Bruce Bochy said, could be sidelined for up to four weeks with a fracture in his left middle finger. San Francisco purchased the contract of outfielder Brian Horwitz from Triple-A Fresno to replace Ortmeier. Left-hander Noah Lowry, recovering from surgery on his throwing forearm, moved from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Horwitz.
Rowand, who was hit in the hand by a pitch from Arizona's Chad Qualls in Thursday night's ninth inning, underwent X-rays Friday that confirmed he escaped serious injury. "It's a little swollen, but it's all right," said Rowand, who started in center field Friday night against the Padres.
Bochy said that Ortmeier, 27, had no idea how he hurt his finger and actually experienced swelling in it before Thursday's game. Ortmeier insisted that he could play, although he went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts against D-backs left-hander Randy Johnson. Bochy said that Ortmeier, who was removed for pinch-hitter Fred Lewis in the eighth inning, underwent X-rays at Chase Field that revealed the fracture.
This continued Ortmeier's run of bad luck. Projected to be the starting first baseman this season, Ortmeier was robbed of preparation time when he fractured the tip of the same left middle finger while fielding a grounder during batting practice six games into his Arizona Fall League stint with the Scottsdale Scorpions. After hitting .241 in Spring Training, Ortmeier batted .219 with five RBIs in 38 games for the Giants, but only 14 of those appearances were starts at first base or in left field. He also gave up switch-hitting to exclusively become a right-handed batter.
Horwitz, 25, was batting .294 in 44 games at Fresno. A non-roster invitee to each of the last two Spring Trainings, the University of California graduate won batting titles in the Northwest League in 2004 (.347 with rookie-level Salem-Keizer) and in the South Atlantic League in 2005 (.349 with Class A Augusta).
Repeating the explanation he used when infielder Travis Denker was recalled from Fresno to replace Eugenio Velez, Bochy said that the Giants opted to keep right fielder Nate Schierholtz at Fresno to guarantee him regular playing time, since the right-handed-batting Horwitz will be strictly a role player.
Horwitz was nevertheless thrilled to join the Giants, calling his promotion "surreal."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.