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Giants explain Derek Holland’s surprise DFA

Derek Holland was the price of making the Giants a more interesting team.

As starter Conner Menez and third baseman Zach Green were officially called up from Triple-A Sacramento on Sunday and entered into the starting lineup, the Giants’ lefty and injured infielder Ryder Jones were designated for assignment.

Bruce Bochy called it a “very, very difficult decision” to cut ties with a flexible starter/reliever who, until Saturday’s dud, had allowed one run in his past 13 1/3 innings. President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi signaled it was a fit issue.

“This year and last year he’s one of the best pitchers in the league against left-hand hitters,” Zaidi said about the 32-year-old with a .182/.276/.195 slash line against lefties this season. But the Giants tend to use relievers more on an inning-to-inning rather than batter-to-batter basis.

Zaidi sounded optimistic a trade would transpire. The Giants have seven days to trade him, release him or, if unclaimed, they could send him to the minors.

“The ability to get lefties out is pretty valuable,” Zaidi said Sunday before the Giants hosted the Mets. “We’re in a position where we’ve got a lefty closer, lefty setup man, and right-handed relievers who are actually doing really well against left-handed hitters. … I think there’ll be interest in him.”

Drew Pomeranz moving (at least temporarily to the bullpen) also made Holland a bit of a redundancy.  The Giants wanted to get a look at Conner Menez and desired another third baseman to enter the mix as Evan Longoria heals. Pablo Sandoval has been playing a lot of third, and Bochy referred to the lineup as a whole as “banged-up.”

Asked what he liked about Green, Zaidi said, “Homers.” The former Phillies farmhand, at 25, is having his best minor league season, with 23 home runs in 63 games.

“Our guys in the offseason did a really nice job identifying him and getting him in the fold,” Zaidi said. “… I think he’s made some adjustments, watching his at-bats recently, I think he’s in a more athletic position. He’s swinging the bat even better than he was in camp.”

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