Giants lineup: Span’s slow recovery; Ramirez designated for assignment
Jim Gensheimer/Bay Area News Group Pitcher Neil Ramirez (59) was designated for assignment by the Giants on Sunday. He had allowed 15 runs on 16 hits over his first nine games with San Francisco.
SAN FRANCISCO — Center fielder Denard Span’s sprained right shoulder hasn’t improved the way the Giants have hoped and there remains no timetable for when he might be activated.
The Giants begin a nine-game road trip Monday with three games in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. Span is eligible to come off the disabled list May 3, but being able to play that day appears unlikely.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Span has been “doing some stuff in the training room. He hasn’t been able to do a lot, to be honest. He’s come a little slower than we thought.
“Can’t tell you when he’ll be activated but we’re hoping that when we get to L.A. tomorrow that we can ramp up his baseball activities and get him hitting on the field.”
Span was placed on the DL on Wednesday, retroactive to April 23, before he suffered a setback in his recovery Thursday.
After the Giants’ series with the Dodgers’, the Giants play May 5-7 in Cincinnati and May 8-10 in New York against the Mets.
“Hopefully if he feels good (Monday) and he could get on the field and join us,” Bochy said. “We were hoping he’d be playing at this time, but it hasn’t happened.”
• Bochy said Aaron Hill’s recovery from a right forearm strain is also coming along slowly, “but that forearm is a sensitive area, so we’ve had to slow play him a little bit.” Hill was placed on the 10-day DL on April 24.
• Reliever Neil Ramirez was designated for assignment Sunday, one day after he allowed six earned runs in 1 2/3 innings against the San Diego Padres. In a corresponding move, the Giants purchased his contract of right-handed reliever Bryan Morris.
As a non-roster invitee, Morris was with the Giants in spring training but suffered a stress fracture when he took a line drive off his foot in live batting practice. Before that, he dealt with a muscle issue in the spring. He also missed a good chunk of the 2016 season with Miami after he underwent back surgery.
“He’s going to bring hopefully depth in this bullpen,” Bochy said. “Experienced reliever that we were very excited to have in the spring.”
Morris did not allow a run in five appearances with triple-A Sacramento this season (5.2 ip). He has a 18-12 record with a 2.80 ERA over five Major League season with Pittsburgh and Miami.
Bochy sees Morris as someone who could be used in the sixth or seven innings. There’s also the issue of needing another in the bullpen for Sunday’s game as Ty Blach makes just his second start of the season.
“That why we felt we needed another arm in the bullpen today,” Bochy said, “just to make sure we cover him.”
With Ramirez, Bochy feels he’s got good enough stuff to pitch in the major leagues, but that location is an issue. Ramirez was touched up for two home runs Saturday, including a 433-shot by Wil Myers in the sixth inning.
“He’s got to work on the command a little bit,” Bochy said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen. Hopefully he’s in Sacramento with us and can work on those things. More than anything, the fastball command is a little bit off. Made a lot of mistakes up and they took advantage of it.”
Ramirez said Sunday, “I felt like my stuff was good last night, warming up and everything. Got ahead of a couple of those guys in (the sixth) inning and just couldn’t put them away. The pitch to Myers came back over the plate. It’s just the mistakes are getting hit.”