Burrell joins Giants in time for game
The 33-year-old Burrell hit .313 (5 for 16) with one homer and six RBIs in five Fresno games. He went hitless in two at-bats at Las Vegas on Thursday before joining the Giants in time for Friday night's game in Pittsburgh.
"Our manager there [Steve Decker] and Ken Joyce [the Grizzlies' hitting coach] complimented him on the condition he showed up in, the attitude and the way he's been swinging the bat," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "The consensus was that this guy is ready."
Burrell was in the second year of a $16 million, two-year contract with Tampa Bay when he was released May 15. He hit .202 with two homers and 13 RBIs in 24 games for the Rays. Last season, he proved to be a disappointment to the Rays, batting .221 with 14 homers and 64 RBIs in 412 at-bats.
"The way things worked out, I couldn't be happier," said Burrell, who is pleased to be back in the National League. "The opportunity came up and it couldn't have been a better opportunity. Really, I was thinking if I get the right situation, I can still help the ballclub and be productive."
Burrell has 267 home runs and 904 RBIs with Philadelphia (2000-08) and Tampa Bay (2009-10). He will be a bench player with the Giants, an unaccustomed role for him. He played defensively with Fresno to get ready for his return to the NL.
"All I can do is be ready," said Burrell, who was mostly a designated hitter with Tampa Bay. "I've spent most of my time in the National League and I'm familiar with how the game works and when to be ready, so I'm just looking forward to the chance."
Burrell grew up near San Francisco and graduated from Bellarmine Prep in San Jose.
"It's just an unbelievable opportunity and I'm so thankful to be here," he said. "My phone's been going crazy with all the guys I grew up with wishing me good luck and everything."
The Giants had a roster spot open after optioning outfielder John Bowker to Fresno following Wednesday's game.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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