Another Giants prospect collects first major-league hit

It’s been a fortuitous season for the highly touted prospects in the San Francisco Giants’ farm system.

Like Orlando Calixte and Christian Arroyo before him, Austin Slater recently knocked his first hit as a Major League Baseball player.

Slater, a former Stanford Cardinal, was called up from Triple A Sacramento on Friday morning. Justin Ruggiano was designated for assignment in the corresponding move.

Ruggiano was hitting .217/.238/.333 in 60 at bats with the Giants this season. The club cutting the 35-year old signals its reluctance to continue making do with aging outfielders to fill the gaps created by injuries.

“We want to take a look at these young guys, and see what we have,” manager Bruce Bochy said before Friday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies. “Unfortunately we had to make a move to get Slater up here. He’s here to hopefully help this offense out. He can play all three outfield positions. He’s been swinging the bat well down there. We’ll take a look at him.”

Slater’s presence in the lineup depends on the recovery of Hunter Pence, who is dealing with a hamstring injury.

Bochy said on Friday that there’s a chance the Giants’ Opening Day rightfielder returns before the end of their weekend series in Philly.

“Until Pence comes up, Slater’s gonna get some playing time,” Bochy said. “He’s been on our radar for a while. Even last year we talked about him.”

Slater singled to score a run in the top of the sixth on Friday, when the Giants won, 10-0.

jpalmer@sfexaminer.com

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