<
>

Schmidt makes first appearance since October

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants activated
right-hander Jason Schmidt from the 15-day disabled list to make his first start of the season Friday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Schmidt, who led the National League in ERA last season, made
his first appearance since undergoing surgery in October to remove
scar tissue and repair a tendon in his right elbow. To make room
for Schmidt, the Giants optioned left-hander Kevin Walker to
Triple-A Fresno.

Schmidt hoped to be ready for the opener, but he started to feel
shoulder stiffness near the end of the spring and started the
season on the DL. The Giants determined that he was compensating
for the elbow by putting too much strain on his shoulder.

Schmidt went 17-5 with a 2.34 ERA last season and made his first
All-Star team.

Walker made five appearances before being sent down, allowing
three hits and three runs in 1 2/3 innings.

"He needs to pitch," manager Felipe Alou said. "He has good
velocity and good break to his slider. But it's not there yet. It's
not under control."

The Giants also said left-hander Scott Eyre would begin a
rehabilitation assignment at Fresno on Friday night. Eyre was
sidelined late in spring training with a back injury.

San Francisco second baseman Ray Durham was held out of the
lineup for the second straight game. Durham left in the first
inning against Milwaukee on Tuesday night with a mild strain of his
left quadriceps.

"Tomorrow we hope maybe he can pinch-hit," Alou said. "The
other day he was not even available to pinch-hit. "(Pitcher Brett)
Tomko was my next hitter."

Neifi Perez took Durham's place as the leadoff hitter and rookie
Cody Ransom played second base and batted eighth.