Conner Menez was optioned back to Triple-A Sacramento on Monday, but that does not mean Drew Pomeranz is re-entering the rotation.
Bruce Bochy said Monday there is “a very strong possibility” the Giants will stick with a four-man rotation for now, with off-days Thursday and next Monday allowing them to theoretically remain on regular rest until early August in Colorado.
Menez, who pitched well in a five-inning, two-run debut, could then rejoin a major league rotation that would have three rookies. For a team trying hard not to burn out its powerful bullpen — ahead of both the trade deadline and a possible playoff race — the roster flexibility is invaluable. Sam Coonrod was recalled to take Menez’s spot before the series opener against the Cubs.
The juggling has left a 30-year-old veteran, who signed with San Francisco in large part to elevate his value as a starter, craning his neck from the bullpen.
Pomeranz, asked Sunday how the conversation went, told KNBR: “Fine. Really nothing for me to say but OK.”
The left-hander, who has been at times overpowering and at times awful this season, had been solid in three of his past four starts before the demotion. His most recent came Tuesday, when he allowed one run in five innings in a Giants victory at Coors Field.
“Yes and no,” he said about whether he was surprised. “I’d been pitching pretty good. But you play this game long enough, you know things are going to happen. And we got a guy [Menez] who’s pitching really well.”
Pomeranz accepted the new role and said he’s comfortable as a reliever. But he does not want this to be permanent.
“I want to keep starting. I view myself as a starter,” he said, and Farhan Zaidi has said he will want Pomeranz as an option down the road. “At this point, we’re winning games. As a part of this team, it’s all our jobs to fit in where we fit in and help the team win any way we can.”