Interesting developments from Fresno

It’s not everyday you can title a blog post like that.

Even though Thursday was an off day for the Giants, there were some interesting developments.

First, outfielder John Bowker was optioned to Triple-A Fresno, leading to speculation that recent free-agent acquisition Pat Burrell would get called up to the big club.

Burrell played Thursday in Fresno, going for 0 for 2 with a walk before leaving the game in the sixth inning.

The thinking is that Burrell left the game to catch a plane to Pittsburgh, where the Giants open a seven-game road trip on Friday.

Also on Thursday in Fresno, Mark DeRosa played his first game for the Grizzlies in his rehab stint. He went 3 for 4 with a double and RBI. It was a far more encouraging outing that his game in San Jose, when his post-game comments sounded a lot like a guy who was headed to season-ending surgery.

Thursday’s performance gives a little more credence to the idea of DeRosa trying to battle his way through his wrist problems and play out the season.

But the big question now is how does an active roster than includes Pat Burrell and Mark DeRosa — not to mention a healthy Edgar Renteria by mid-to-late June — find enough playing time for Juan Uribe and Buster Posey?

The word is that Burrell will be used off the bench, mostly as a pinch-hitter. We can expect DeRosa, with his health issues, to possibly fill the utility role that Uribe was expected to fill.

As it stands right now, the Giants’ five bench players on the active roster are: C Eli Whiteside, 1B Travis Ishikawa, OF Nate Schierholtz, IF Matt Downs and (presumably) OF Pat Burrell.

If DeRosa eventually comes off the DL, we can expect Downs to head back to Fresno. If DeRosa stays healthy and Burrell is productive when Renteria comes off the DL, then what? Who goes down then? Ishikawa and Schierholtz are out of options. So that either leaves Whiteside or sending down a pitcher and carrying only 11 pitchers on the roster.

Something to think about.


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