Casey Schmitt

Why Schmitt got MLB promotion over Luciano after Ahmed injury

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SAN FRANCISCO — It was a very busy first day back at Oracle Park, although the Giants made just one roster move.

Casey Schmitt was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento and went right into the lineup at shortstop, replacing Nick Ahmed, who has a sprained left wrist. Manager Bob Melvin said Ahmed likely will need a bit more than the 10 days on the IL to recover, and for now the Giants will take a look at Schmitt, who broke into the big leagues last season but had an inconsistent run as a rookie.

Schmitt was hitting .276 in Triple-A with five homers and a .768 OPS. He got the nod over top prospect Marco Luciano, who has similar overall numbers to Schmitt but has hit just one homer through 31 games. 

"Right now, we'll let Luci continue to play on an everyday basis," manager Bob Melvin said. "I'm not sure what that's going to look like here every day. I know Casey is going to play the next two days against lefties, so we'll see where that goes. But it's not like we've lost sight of Marco. The offense hasn't been great here -- he's been taking some walks, he always hits the ball hard when he hits it, but (he's) maybe not his best right now. Maybe that's one of the reasons that we went with Casey."

Ahmed has been a standout defensively, but his OPS dipped to .564 before he came out of Thursday's game after a painful swing. The Giants also have Tyler Fitzgerald as an option to play short, although he was in left field Friday in a righty-heavy lineup. Thairo Estrada can slide over if necessary, but he hasn't been taking grounders at any spot other than second base. 

Schmitt had a mustache all spring, but said he shaved it three days ago, keeping him from joining a clubhouse that is all-in on Mustache May. Another change could be notable, though. He recently started wearing contact lenses, and while it's a very mild prescription, he said he has had an easier time recognizing breaking balls. 

Getting healthier 

Patrick Bailey caught Blake Snell's bullpen session in the afternoon and said he "feels great." Bailey is expected to return to the lineup Saturday after missing the minimum seven days with a concussion. Melvin said Bailey will now wear a hockey-style mask, which should provide a bit more padding for a catcher who has had two concussions in two big league seasons. 

Snell looked sharp while throwing about 30 pitches and remains on track to make a rehab start with the San Jose Giants on Sunday. If all goes well, he could return to the rotation as early as next weekend. 

One of the other missing starters, Alex Cobb, is hopeful he has turned a corner after weeks of dealing with elbow and shoulder soreness. Cobb got a cortisone shot and said it worked wonders. He is throwing out to about 120 feet right now, although the Giants are in no rush to get him on a mound. Cobb isn't eligible to return until May 27 at the earliest. 

Missing some key pieces

Jung Hoo Lee was out of the lineup for a second consecutive day with a left foot contusion that he suffered when he fouled a pitch off his foot in Colorado. The Giants might give Lee another day to heal on Saturday since they're facing a tough lefty starter in Nick Lodolo, but Melvin said he expects Lee back in the lineup by Sunday at the latest. 

Jorge Soler (right shoulder discomfort) was set to start his hitting progression on Friday. Soler hasn't played since May 4. 

Wishing him well

The Giants made a pair of minor trades with pitchers who recently were designated for assignment. Mitch White was sent to Milwaukee and Daulton Jefferies will join Joey Bart in Pittsburgh. 

Jefferies struggled in two appearances, but there was enough interest that the Giants were able to get a toolsy 22-year-old A-ball outfielder back in return. The right-hander has already had Tommy John surgery twice as well as a procedure for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, a path back to the big leagues that is just about unprecedented. Melvin noted those injuries when saying he'll be rooting for Jefferies to succeed in Pittsburgh. 

"I think it's great. I'm for Daulton going anywhere and getting an opportunity in the big leagues," said Melvin, who also managed Jefferies in Oakland. "I've been with him for a bit and (I know) what he's had to go through. Here, it was kind of a tough spot with how he was being used, and then not here, and then here for shorter stints. Hopefully he gets a real opportunity."

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