SAN DIEGO — As expected, the Giants placed Johnny Cueto and Pablo Sandoval on the disabled list. To fill the gaps, at least temporarily, a couple of middle infielders returned to the big-league roster.
Joe Panik ended his rehab assignment a bit early — he literally left in the middle of a Triple-A game in Sacramento on Monday afternoon — and returned to the active roster, along with Kelby Tomlinson, who has been recalled four times this season to fill in for injured players.
Cueto has persistent pain in his right elbow and was removed after just four innings Saturday night. Sandoval suffered a right hamstring strain on Sunday while filling in for Brandon Belt, who is also on the DL.
This is Cueto’s second trip to the DL this season. He missed 61 games earlier with the same right elbow sprain, but this absence could be longer. Cueto thought he was going to need Tommy John surgery at the end of April, but Dr. James Andrews told him he could try to rest and then return to the mound. Cueto will be evaluated this week to see if there’s another non-surgical solution.
The Giants have two long relievers on their roster -- Chris Stratton and Ty Blach -- and either one could fill the open rotation spot. They also have an off day on Wednesday so there's no urgency to make a decision.
Sandoval was hurt while scoring on a sacrifice fly Sunday. He said the injury felt similar to a one he suffered in 2012 when doing the splits to record an out at first. That hamstring strain cost Sandoval 18 games. Austin Slater was in Monday's lineup, making his second start at first base in the last five games.