Giants manager Bruce Bochy has indicated that Hill, the utility man who strained his right forearm and hasn't played a Major League game since April 22, will soon be activated from his Minor League injury rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Sacramento. But Nunez's playing status could influence the timing of Hill's return.
Though Nunez's injury isn't considered serious, it could prove to be tricky, since hamstrings don't always heal on schedule. Should the Giants decide that Nunez must be placed on the 10-day disabled list, that would hasten Hill's activation. Like Nunez, Hill can play multiple positions.
If Nunez remains active, the Giants almost surely would option a current member of the 25-man roster to the Minors when Hill returns. Inconveniently for the Giants, the list of players with Minor League options remaining is a short one.
Either of San Francisco's left-handed relievers, Josh Osich and Steven Okert, could be vulnerable. "We've got to get our left-handers going," Bochy has repeated. Osich was unscored upon in his two previous outings entering Thursday, but he allowed three runs in two appearances before that pair. Okert has been scored upon in three of his past nine games, inflating his ERA from 4.15 to 6.23.
Possibilities include sending third baseman Christian Arroyo or outfielder Mac Williamson back to Triple-A Sacramento. Arroyo, who has contributed several key hits since his callup, began Thursday batting .196. However, Bochy sounded upbeat about Arroyo, who turns 22 on Tuesday. Citing Arroyo's body language, Bochy said, "You don't see that he's not having a lot of success at the plate."
Activating Hill and then releasing him would not be unprecedented. But it would be unlikely, given the effort that Hill and the Giants are throwing into his rehab assignment. He has played in five games with Sacramento after appearing in three games with Class A Advanced San Jose.