The Giants announced a collection of roster moves today, including the news that right-hander Jeff Samardzija has been activated from the 10-day DL to start today’s game against the Cardinals. Infielder Chase d’Arnaud will also join the 25-man roster after his contract was purchased from Triple-A. In corresponding moves, second baseman Joe Panik was officially placed on the 10-day DL with a left groin strain, righty Chris Stratton was sent down to Triple-A, and Hunter Strickland was moved from the 10-day to the 60-day DL.
[Updated Giants depth chart at Roster Resource]
Samardzija suffered some right shoulder tightness during a start on May 29 and ended up missing over a month of action while recovering. The time off could serve as a virtual reset on Samardzija’s season, as he had a 6.56 ERA and almost as many walks (23) as strikeouts (26) in eight starts and 35 2/3 IP prior to his injury. Injuries have plagued San Francisco’s rotation for much of the year, though the Giants finally have their projected top three of Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, and Samardzija all active at the same time. The rotation could go from a problem area to a strength for the Giants in the pennant race, particularly since Andrew Suarez and Dereck Rodriguez have both pitched well in fill-in duty. Indeed, it was Stratton rather than Rodriguez who was sent down to Triple-A to make room for Samardzija’s return.
d’Arnaud signed a minor league deal back in January and now get his first taste of big league action in 2018. He’ll take Alen Hanson’s spot as the utilityman while Hanson gets more regular duty filling in for Panik at second base. Versatility has been the watchword for d’Arnaud over his six MLB seasons, as the 31-year-old has played at least one game at every position except pitcher and catcher.