ORACLE PARK — The San Francisco Giants have optioned starter Conner Menez, and recalled reliever Sam Coonrod in a move that was expected after Menez made his big league debut on Sunday.
The fact that the Giants have played three extra-inning games out of their last four prompted the club to get some relief help, and Menez was the casualty. It won’t be long, though, before Menez returns, and when he does, it may be for good.
The 24-year old left-hander’s ability to miss bats — he struck out 13.6 batters per nine innings in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League after being moved up from Double-A Richmond — was one of the main reasons that president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi wanted to see what Menez could do at the big league level.
Menez, a Hollister native and lifelong Giants fan, held the New York Mets to just three hits — including two solo home runs — over five innings and struck out six while walking two in an eventual 12-inning win, showcasing a mid-90s fastball with a high spin rate.
The Giants will need more relief help than starting arms in the coming days. The bullpen has thrown 20 innings over the last four games, while San Francisco won’t need to use a fifth starter until Aug. 2 because of off days on Friday and Monday.
Having designated Derek Holland for assignment and optioned Ty Blach following Saturday’s game, the Giants had a seven-man bullpen on Sunday, all of whom — save for Drew Pomeranz — pitched at least one inning. Pomeranz has replaced Holland in the long relief role, though manager Bruce Bochy and Zaidi said that he’ll likely make more starts for the team down the road.
Coonrod, 26, came up as the 26th man for San Francisco’s doubleheader in Colorado, so was eligible to return before the 10-day minimum stay in the minor leagues. In four innings with the Giants this season, Coonrod has a 2.25 ERA. The right-hander is 2-4 with a 6.96 ERA in 32 1/3 innings with Triple-A Sacramento this season.