The Giants are about to make a bunch of roster moves and one could be complicated

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DENVER -- Giants players are off Thursday, but team officials certainly won't be. 

"We're going to have some action going on this weekend," manager Bruce Bochy said. 

At least three veterans are expected to be activated before the Phillies arrive in town Friday. Joe Panik is playing nine innings for the San Jose Giants and will be back at second base, and Mark Melancon is set to meet with team doctors on Thursday to get clearance to return Friday. Hunter Pence's rehab assignment expires in two days and the Giants have to make a decision. The indication is that Pence will return to the active roster. 

So, who goes? 

Kelby Tomlinson is going through a brutal defensive stretch and not hitting, and Pablo Sandoval started at second base Wednesday night. It's likely Tomlinson is optioned to clear a spot for Panik, with Alen Hanson (hamstring) ready to return a few days later and back up second base. 

It won't be too hard to clear a spot for Melancon, who has missed the entire season after having an injection to try to calm his right arm. Melancon looked good during a rehab assignment with the River Cats and is ready to return to the bullpen. It's a group that's been through a lot of changes, and Tyler Beede could be here for just one game. 

The third decision is more complicated. The Giants could put a veteran on the DL to clear a spot for Pence to return as a backup outfielder, with Gregor Blanco and Austin Jackson the likely choices. Jackson, in particular, has hardly played over the past week, with Gorkys Hernandez taking over as the everyday outfielder. 

Team officials have noted several times that Jackson's legs haven't been under him. If the choice is Blanco, well, we'll see how creative the training staff can get. 

The flurry actually started Wednesday when Jeff Samardzija was put on the DL with right shoulder tightness. Bochy said Samardzija's MRI came back pretty clean and only showed inflammation, but he needed at least one start off so the team put him on the DL. 

"We don't think this is going to be long," Bochy said.

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