Anthony DeSclafani

Where Giants rotation stands as DeSclafani lands on IL

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants are TBA, TBA, TBA and TBA for the upcoming four-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, but none of those designations belong to Anthony DeSclafani.

The right-hander was put on the IL on Sunday morning with a right elbow flexor strain. Manager Gabe Kapler said DeSclafani felt something during a recent bullpen and an MRI showed a Grade 1 strain. He'll go several weeks without throwing and then be reevaluated. 

DeSclafani already had lost his rotation spot and had not pitched since coming out of the bullpen last Sunday in Washington D.C. The injury comes on the heels of several in the upper minors that have chipped away at the organization's pitching depth. 

Keaton Winn has right elbow inflammation but an MRI came back clean, and the Giants expect him to be an option in the big leagues later this season. Top prospect Kyle Harrison remains out with a hamstring strain, and Double-A lefty Carson Whisenhunt has been shut down with a left elbow sprain that likely will end his first full professional season. 

The Giants still do have plenty of veteran depth at the big league level, including Ross Stripling, who is likely to come out of the 'pen on Sunday. Tristan Beck was recalled to take DeSclafani's spot. 

"We still have a lot of other pitchers that are in good positions to help us and pitch a lot for us going forward," Kapler said.

Other Giants notes:

-- On the surface, it's an eye-opener that Marco Luciano is hitting third for the Giants just a couple of weeks after he was in Double-A. But Luciano is unlikely to go the distance Sunday.

The Red Sox are using a left-handed opener, Brennan Bernardino, so Luciano got the call at DH and will hit behind fellow righties Austin Slater and Wilmer Flores. When a righty comes in -- possibly Nick Pivetta -- the Giants can pivot to Joc Pederson. 

If Pederson does hit for Luciano, it would be the second time in his first four big league games that it happens. Kapler said he spoke to Luciano after he hit for him in his debut and noted that "he's been a total pro."

"Most of these guys recognize that there are players on the bench with really good track records of success on any given day," Kapler said. "Most of these guys recognize that our best hitters, we hit for and hit with. Because we've been so consistent with the strategy over now, going on four seasons, it's pretty familiar, and it's also not uncommon around the game."

The Giants do it more than most, but that's their way, and it has largely worked. Luis Matos also went through this, with Michael Conforto replacing him in the seventh inning of his debut. 

With Brandon Crawford back at shortstop on Sunday, the Giants decided to utilize Luciano in a new way. They also didn't have many options for a right-handed DH, since the only other one on their bench was catcher Patrick Bailey, who caught the previous two games. Kapler made it clear the Giants "want to see a lot of Marco."

"We're not robbing Peter to pay Paul," he said. "There's lots of time for Marco to get these reps and learn and have all the opportunities. The other thing that I think sometimes pops up in these situations: We're not robbing players of confidence when we do this. If you look around the game, there are some great players that played for a long time that sometimes come off the bench or they get pinch-hit for. It's the state of Major League Baseball."

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