Bowker earns Giants' right-field job

Updated: April 4, 2010, 7:07 PM ET
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- John Bowker won the job to be San Francisco's starting right fielder.

Bowker beat out Nate Schierholtz after a big spring, and manager Bruce Bochy made the announcement Sunday as the Giants set their roster for Opening Day Monday at Houston.

"I worked hard this spring training and felt I put myself in good position," Bowker said. "I'm ready for the season to start. I was able to go out there and drive in some runs and help the team win some games, and I think that's what they were looking for."

Second basemen Freddy Sanchez and Emmanuel Burriss and outfielder Fred Lewis were placed on the 15-day disabled list.

While Schierholtz was considered the frontrunner heading into spring training, Bowker's steady bat earned him the right field job. He was in the lineup for Sunday's exhibition finale with the Seattle Mariners before the team left town.

"Johnny forced the issue with his spring and the way he swung the bat," Bochy said. "He's played so well, he's earned this."

Heading into Sunday, Bowker -- a Triple-A All-Star last season -- was hitting .307 with six home runs and 22 RBIs in 27 games. He also had four doubles and a triple.

Bochy spoke to Schierholtz and also planned to sit down with Bowker, who led the Pacific Coast League in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage last year. His .451 on-base percentage led all minor leaguers.

The others will be in the mix, too: Andres Torres, Eugenio Velez and Schierholtz.

"It's going to be a busy bench," Bochy said. "All those guys are going to get playing time. We're going to let Johnny show what he can do. This is a workable situation with him and Nate."

Sanchez is recovering from a late December surgery on his non-throwing left shoulder and is still a few weeks from rejoining the Giants. His move is retroactive to March 26, meaning he would be eligible to be activated April 10 -- though it will likely be the end of the month.

Lewis has a ribcage injury and Burriss is recovering from a broken left foot.

Also Sunday, the Giants purchased the contracts of fifth starter Todd Wellemeyer and righty reliever Guillermo Mota and reassigned right-hander Denny Bautista to Fresno.

Mota went 3-4 with a 3.44 ERA in 61 appearances for the rival Los Angeles Dodgers in 2009.

"Mota's coming off a good year," Bochy said. "He's going to eat up more innings."


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press