Aurilia returns to active roster

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants regained a potentially valuable performer for the stretch drive Friday as they recalled infifelder Rich Aurilia from his Minor League injury rehabilitation assignment and optioned first baseman-outfielder John Bowker to Triple-A Fresno.

Short-term, Aurilia can supplement the Giants’ infield depth, since Juan Uribe has been bothered by a hamstring injury. Uribe did not appear in three of San Francisco’s last four games entering Friday.

More importantly, Aurilia’s .210 batting average belies his ability to put together a solid at-bat when it matters most. He remains competent in late-inning pressure situations, when he invariably works the count, shortens his swing, doesn’t panic with two strikes and, more often than not, makes meaningful, productive contact.

Aurilia’s only hits in 17 at-bats during his rehab assignment with Fresno and Class A San Jose were two home runs.

“It was valuable for me in the sense that I got to play and get some repetitive at-bats,” said Aurilia, whose five-game stint was precipitated by an infected right big toe. “I got out of it what I wanted to get out of it.”

Aurilia acknowledged that returning to Class A for the first time since 1993 awakened memories he would have preferred to remain dormant. San Jose’s ballpark lacks a center-field batter’s eye and, many believe, adequate lighting. “It makes you appreciate how spoiled we are up here,” Aurilia said.

Bowker played only twice in his second stint of the season with the Giants, but he went out in memorable fashion by belting a monstrous triple to center in Wednesday’s victory at Houston. Don’t be surprised if Bowker rejoins the Giants in September when rosters are expanded to 40 players.

Manager Bruce Bochy said that Bowker calmly accepted his demotion. “He understood that we have a need right now [for Aurilia] to give us insurance in the infield,” Bochy said.

– Chris Haft

4 Comments

Aurilia should be released

If Sabean can’t make it without Aurilia, send them both back to New York. Good riddance fu man chu boys

DFA Aurilla

For those of you who are upset that Rich Aurilia is back on the team, it should not really bother you that much. Rich Aurilia won’t be starting many games at all and will only be pinch hitting off the bench. He is not going to be causing this team to lose games, if anything maybe a pinch hit later in the game. I think many fans are forgetting that Rich had over 400 at bats last season and hit .283 with 10 homeruns. Nothing wrong with those stats at all. This year Aurilia only has little over 100 at bats guys. If he had around 400 he probably would be around the same average. A lot of fans are acting like he is totally washed up. If anyone ever played the game of baseball in a league, then you know that if someone is 300 LESS at bats then the previous year, well then….you might as well just throw that out the window.

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