PHOENIX -- Fernando Abad is back in the Majors.
The Giants selected Abad’s contract from Triple-A Sacramento on Thursday, giving the 33-year-old veteran reliever a chance to pitch in the big leagues for the first time since 2017. The Giants also recalled Dereck Rodríguez, who started against the D-backs in the series opener at Chase Field.
Williams Jerez and catcher Aramis Garcia were optioned to clear roster spots for Abad and Rodriguez. Kyle Barraclough was designated for assignment to create a vacancy on the 40-man roster for Abad.
Abad signed a Minor League deal with the Giants in February and logged a 3.07 ERA with 49 strikeouts and four walks over 44 innings for Sacramento this season. He entered Thursday with a 3.65 ERA over 363 career relief appearances in the Majors.
“Abad’s been throwing very well down there,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “He’s earned this callup. It was time to give him a look here and get him an opportunity to show what he can do. He’s got experience. He throws strikes, so we’re glad to have him here. He’s going to help out. Jerez can go back and continue to work on refining some of his pitches.”
Cueto inching closer to return
Johnny Cueto, who is working his way back from Tommy John surgery, was scheduled to throw approximately 45 pitches in his third rehab appearance with Class A Advanced San Jose on Thursday. The Giants are hoping Cueto will be able to return to the Giants’ rotation in September, though Bochy acknowledged that there’s a chance his timetable could be sped up a bit.
The Giants have struggled to receive consistent length and effectiveness from many of their young starters in recent weeks, so if they still find themselves in the thick of the National League Wild Card race toward the end of the month, they could be more inclined to bring Cueto back sooner than expected.
“I think we can reevaluate our thinking with the medical staff and see where we’re at with him,” Bochy said. “It’s been brought up. He’s pretty close to 100 percent. He just doesn’t have the strength and stamina to go deep in the game. But you’re looking at the stuff and everything, it’s good. Real good. He’s excited about where he’s at.”