The Giants have purchased the contract of reliever Joe Nathan prior to Saturday’s matinee, according to MLB.com’s Chris Haft. The right-hander is expected to fill some holes in the bullpen as the Giants finish off a three-game set against the Cubs this weekend.
Nathan signed a minor league deal with the Giants in August after making a handful of appearances with the Cubs earlier this season. During a two-week stint in Double-A Richmond, the 41-year-old closed out six games for the Richmond Flying Squirrels, giving up three hits and a walk and striking out seven en route to a pair of saves.
At first glance, it might make more sense to utilize that roster spot for a third catcher, which the Giants currently lack, but there’s no question that their bullpen could use the extra support. Right-handed reliever Hunter Strickland looked overtaxed during a 2-1 loss on Friday night, failing to record an out for the first time since June 5, and even with Josh Osich’s scoreless inning and Matt Cain bolstering a 12-man ‘pen, there isn’t much to get excited about as the team prepares for another stretch run.
Nathan is no stranger to the Giants or the bullpen, but after undergoing his second Tommy John surgery in 2015, it would be unrealistic to expect the veteran righty to produce the 1.39 ERA, 2.3 fWAR levels of dominance he flashed during his last successful season in the major leagues. Still, with 12 other relievers vying for time on the mound, it’s unlikely that he’ll see substantial playing time heading into September.
With Nathan on the 40-man roster, the Giants recalled right-hander Ray Black, who will be placed on the 60-day disabled list with a right elbow bone spur.
PITTSBURGH — The New York Mets will have to dig out of an early-season hole without star first baseman Pete Alonso.
The leading home run hitter in the majors will miss three-to-four weeks with a bone bruise and a sprain in his left wrist.
The Mets placed Alonso on the 10-day injured list Friday, retroactive to June 8. Alonso was hit in the wrist by a 96 mph fastball from Charlie Morton in the first inning of a 7-5 loss to Atlanta on Wednesday.
Alonso traveled to New York for testing on Thursday. X-rays revealed no broken bones, but the Mets will be missing one of the premier power hitters in the game as they try to work their way back into contention in the NL East.
“We got better news than it could have been,” New York manager Buck Showalter said. “So we take that as a positive. It could have been worse.”
New York had lost six straight heading into a three-game series at Pittsburgh that began Friday. Mark Canha started at first for the Mets in the opener. Mark Vientos could also be an option, though Showalter said the coaching staff may have to use its “imagination” in thinking of ways to get by without Alonso.
“I’m not going to say someone has to step up and all that stuff,” Showalter said. “You’ve just got to be who you are.”
Even with Alonso in the lineup, the Mets have struggled to score consistently. New York is 16th in the majors in runs scored.
The team also said Friday that reliever Edwin Uceta had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. Uceta initially went on the IL in April with what the team called a sprained left ankle. He is expected to be out for at least an additional eight weeks.
New York recalled infielder Luis Guillorme and left-handed reliever Zach Muckenhirn from Triple-A Syracuse. The Mets sent catcher Tomás Nido to Triple-A and designated reliever Stephen Nogosek for assignment.
Nogosek is 0-1 with a 5.63 ERA in 13 games this season.