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Giants flip relievers as they search for solid righty option

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants have searched for a reliable righty bullpen arm all season, and now they will get another look at an option they’ve seen before.

San Francisco called up Rico Garcia before Sunday’s Oracle Park matchup with the Diamondbacks, while optioning lefty long-man Andrew Suarez to Sacramento.

Tyler Rogers has been reliable, but Sam Coonrod has not found the consistency they would like him to have. Coonrod was only a late-inning hope because Trevor Gott failed out of his role. Adding Garcia to a lefty-heavy mix eases the burden on Coonrod and Gott and gives the Giants another mid-to-high-90s righty capable of getting outs.

The 26-year-old Garcia had been excellent early this season, not allowing a run in his first 4 1/3 innings, but then hit speed bumps beginning Aug. 6 and was soon demoted to the alternate site. The Giants hope they have righted him.

A day after throwing about 50 pitches each, Jeff Samardzija and Drew Smyly felt OK Sunday, Gabe Kapler said, Samardzija playing catch on the field and catching up with Madison Bumgarner.

Samardzija, who did not throw his splitter, sat at about 89-90 mph in the sim game, Kapler said, about where he was while he was getting hit hard at the onset of this season. The manager said a bullpen or rotation role is still to be determined for Smyly — he could piggyback with Tyler Anderson, one starting and the other taking over — or build up strictly out of the pen.

Kapler said he’s open to both roles for Samardzija, but also said “building up more is also an option,” signaling they could ask him to throw more in Sacramento as a rotation option in the wings.

Sunday morning in the clubhouse, the Giants presented the rings from Triple-A Sacramento’s championship season last year. Many of this year’s Giants players were involved, but first-base coach Antoan Richardson and assistant pitching coach Ethan Katz were awarded rings, too, as coaches for the team.


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