SAN FRANCISCO -- At some point this season, Austin Slater might find himself playing behind Dereck Rodriguez as the Giants evaluate younger players. But this week they were part of the same transaction.
Rodriguez was the casualty as the Giants recalled Slater from Triple-A Sacramento on Monday, getting optioned to the minors so he could get stretched back out. The second-year right-hander pitched out of the bullpen all June, but the Giants, knowing they'll need a spot starter for a doubleheader in mid-July, had spent about a week discussing the possibility of Rodriguez returning to the rotation in Triple-A.
"We want to get him down there on a consistent schedule and get him stretched out back as a starter," manager Bruce Bochy said.
As the Giants try to plan their future, they'll at some point need to figure out what they have in Rodriguez, who posted a 2.81 ERA as a rookie but is at 5.27 this season. Bochy said he thought Rodriguez has been much better than the overall numbers, pointing to some innings that have included quirky plays defensively.
Rodriguez made his first appearance back with the River Cats on Friday, allowing three runs in four innings. He is in line to start one game at Coors Field when the Giants play a doubleheader there during their first trip after the break, but after that it's up in the air.
Asked about Rodriguez's second-half role, Bochy said it's wait-and-see. The Giants don't have a rotation opening right now, but they are expected to deal Madison Bumgarner at some point this month. They may also make a move with Drew Pomeranz, who ended the first half with a 6.42 ERA.
"I think he's going to get some starts," Bochy said of Rodriguez. "We'll see how it goes. Obviously somebody has to get moved out of you're going to put him in the rotation. I can't guarantee that, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him get some starts."