Velez, not Frandsen, sent down; Renteria returns; Tim’s dry wit
SEATTLE — In a mild surprise, the Giants optioned Eugenio Velez to Triple-A Fresno to clear room for infielder Juan Uribe, who was reinstated from the bereavement list Friday.<p/>
Velez actually had begun to hit proficiently despite playing sporadically. He collected two hits in each of two starts during the San Diego series, hiking his batting average from .111 to .194.
But the Giants want Velez to play more regularly. And manager Bruce Bochy indicated that with only Bengie Molina and Pablo Sandoval available to catch, San Francisco can use the versatility of Frandsen, who has sharpened his skills at the position behind the scenes. Bochy said that Frandsen’s skills behind the plate exceeded those of a typical “emergency” catcher.
Also, as expected, Edgar Renteria returned to shortstop after missing six games with a strained right hamstring. Though Renteria entered Friday hitting a pedestrian .256, he ranked second on the club with 17 RBIs upon being sidelined. Bochy acknowledged that the Giants could have used Renteria during the San Diego series, which consisted of three low-scoring one-run defeats.
“He’s such a professional hitter,” Bochy said of Renteria. “We missed him. We played such tight ballgames. A guy like that could have made a difference in all those games.”
Seattle-area native Tim Lincecum held a dugout news conference for local media hungry for a word from The One Who Got Away.
Lincecum said all the right things, including when he was asked about whether he dwells on the Mariners’ bypassing him in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft. “Not any more,” Lincecum said. “It’s just one of those things that happened and you go with it. I’m happy where I am.”
Lincecum spun a good line when asked what he remembered about Randy Johnson, who he grew up watching when the left-hander starred for the Mariners in the ’90s.
“The mullet and the fastball,” Lincecum said. “Not necessarily in that order.”
— Chris Haft