Ten days later, the symptoms started to hit. Pop ups grew fuzzy and Panik reported that he just ‘didn’t feel right,’ forcing the Giants to put a fourth infielder on the DL.
Panik was diagnosed with a mild concussion and placed on the 7-day DL before Wednesday’s game against the Oakland A’s. The team called up Ruben Tejada — Chase Utley’s vicious NLDS slide victim and inspiration for the new second base slide rule — who was released by the St. Louis Cardinals on June 1 after batting .176 in 23 games.
The 26-year-old Tejada signed a minor league deal with the Giants on June 14 and batted .205 with the River Cats before his call-up.
What does Tejada bring to this ailing roster? Said Bruce Bochy:
“He’s got experience and we’ll use him facing lefties.”
Experience. Right-handedness. Tejada, who can play second, shortstop or third (a position he learned last year), could be the matchup of choice when the Giants face three lefties over the next four games. He started Wednesday’s game at third against LHP Sean Manaea, taking an 0-for-4 collar.
Panik’s injury is yet another thrash to the Giants’ potent infield defense. Matt Duffy is out with left achilles strain and Kelby Tomlinson and Ehire Adrianza are not expected back until around or after the All-Star break. Bochy said he’s been pleased with the offensive production — the Giants have scored 10 or more runs five times in the last 29 games:
“It’s always going to be pitching and defense that helps us win games.”
But the fluctuating defense has committed 10 errors over the past 11 games. The 26-year-old Tejada said he’s fully recovered from that infamous Utley-induced fracture — his defensive versatility and experience is a welcome sight for this club at this juncture.
The Giants recalled RHP Chris Heston and placed him on the 60-day DL to make room for Tejada on the 40-man roster.
Bochy confirmed that Sergio Romo will continue his rehab assignment with scheduled outings on Thursday and Friday in Sacramento.
The Giants bullpen gave up 10 runs in Monday night’s loss to the A’s. So Romo’s return is hotly anticipated, but the Giants do not want to rush it.