Giants option Harrison to Triple-A in series of roster moves

Giants option Harrison to Triple-A in series of roster moves originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

The Giants optioned two of their top rookies to Triple-A Sacramento prior to Friday’s game vs. the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

San Franciso reinstated outfielder Michael Conforto (Grade 2 left hamstring strain) from the 10-day injured list and optioned infielder Casey Schmitt to Triple-A. The Giants also reinstated pitcher Ross Stripling (mid-back strain) from the 15-day injured list while optioning top pitching prospect Kyle Harrison to Triple-A.

In speaking with reporters prior to Friday’s game, Giants manager Gabe Kapler said he hopes the decision to option Harrison will allow the rookie to get back on track physically and mentally after his recent struggles on the mound.

Harrison posted a 5.18 ERA in five starts and struggled mightily against left-handed hitters, who hit .500/.571/.958 with a 1.530 OPS in 24 at-bats compared to righties, who hit .189 in 74 at-bats.

Kapler isn’t worried about Harrison’s splits and believes a simplified approach will benefit him in Triple-A.

“We chatted with Kyle about that today and interestingly, he’s had a lot of success against lefties at the minor-league level,” Kapler explained. “I just, speaking for myself and speaking candidly, I don’t see it being a thing he has to go anywhere and work on. So, by way for example, what makes Kyle effective is having his best fastball and throwing his offspeed pitches in the zone. That’s going to be true against lefties and that’s going to be true against righties.”

Conforto is a key piece to the Giants’ lineup and has missed San Francisco’s last 19 games. The Giants chose to option Schmitt due to the roster’s depth in the infield.

“I would say it was more about overall roster fit and roster needs,” Kapler explained. “Let’s start with the most obvious, we need Michael Conforto on the roster. And then you’re thinking about what gives us the best chance to win games for the rest of the season.

“We’ve got three guys that can play third base: [Wilmer Flores], Casey, J.D. Davis and if we needed a couple other names could fall into that category. We have three guys that can play shortstop: Paul [DeJong], [Brandon Crawford], [Thairo] Estrada … the area of least need was covering those positions, so it came down to who we thought was going to give us the best chance to win the most games.”

Other notes

-Kapler said the Giants will push veteran righty Alex Cobb’s next start back a couple of days to Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“As you know, we’ve got four games here in Colorado. We made a decision to push Cobb’s start back,” Kapler said. “He’s not injured, he’s just been grinding through the hip issue as you guys know. His last start was especially grindy and we felt like what was best for Alex was to give him a couple extra days. So with that, trying to cover these next four games is going to be pretty challenging, particularly with a day-night doubleheader

-The Giants have not set a date for Harrison’s next start in Triple-A, and Kapler mentioned the possibility of giving him a few extra days before he takes the mound again.

-Keaton Winn will start the first game of the day-night doubleheader on Saturday, with the second being a possible bullpen game.

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