SAN FRANCISCO -- Short-term necessity and long-term priorities prompted the Giants' latest round of roster moves Thursday.
They recalled infielder Nick Noonan and outfielder Francisco Peguero from Triple-A Fresno while optioning left-hander Mike Kickham to Fresno and placing outfielder Andres Torres on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left Achilles tendon.
Though Torres' ailment obviously wasn't planned, his being sidelined hastened the Giants' plans to take a closer look at left-field candidates. Peguero will be part of that mix, along with Brett Pill, who started Thursday night's series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Roger Kieschnick, who already has started 16 games in left, also is likely to receive more opportunities.
"It's fair to say where we're at, we feel we're going to do some evaluating," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "These young guys are going to get these at-bats."
Including Gregor Blanco, whom Bochy said will continue to receive playing time, the left-field picture is a crowded one.
"We'll try to mix and match out there," Bochy said.
Peguero has spent most of the season with Fresno, batting .318 with three home runs and 29 RBIs in 66 games. He also hit .188 in six games with the Giants in early May.
Bochy indicated that Kickham, a full-time starter in the Minors, will rejoin Fresno's rotation. Kickham returned to Triple-A, Bochy explained, because the rookie threw 68 pitches during his four-inning relief stint Wednesday against Boston and won't pitch again until he makes his next start. Meanwhile, given second baseman Marco Scutaro's need for rest and third baseman Pablo Sandoval's tenuous health, the Giants need Kickham's roster spot for infield depth.
Noonan, who made the Giants' Opening Day roster out of Spring Training, batted .213 with four RBIs in 52 games during scattered stints in the Majors. He also hit .252 with 18 RBIs in 40 games for Fresno.
"Pablo's banged up. I was short [of players] yesterday," Bochy said. "We were getting boatraced [in a 12-1 loss to Boston], and I couldn't take out Scutaro."
Cain could miss start after liner bruises arm
SAN FRANCISCO -- Even Matt Cain's durability is being threatened in this flawed Giants season.
Cain was diagnosed with a contusion on the middle of his right forearm after being struck by a line drive hit by Pittsburgh's Gaby Sanchez in Thursday night's fourth inning. Giants manager Bruce Bochy indicated that Cain's status for his next scheduled start, Tuesday at Colorado, is doubtful.
"We're not going to take any chances," Bochy said after the Giants' 10-5 loss to the Pirates. "He'd have to make a tremendous recovery."
Cain maintained a cautious approach.
"We'll have to see how it goes in the next couple of days," he said. "... You have to figure out what your body's going to let you do and go from there."
X-rays of Cain's arm were negative.
"We are fortunate, and he is fortunate," Bochy said. "That ball was smoked. But he's tough."
Cain has remained remarkably steady since ascending to the Giants in August 2005. Except for a one-game demotion to the bullpen in 2006, he has made every assigned start, totaling between 31 and 34 in each of his seven full Major League seasons.
Cain's one of only three Giants pitchers to amass at least 200 innings in six consecutive seasons (2007-12) since the franchise moved to San Francisco in 1958. Hall of Famers Juan Marichal (10 seasons, 1962-71) and Gaylord Perry (six, 1966-71) are the others. He has accumulated 156 1/3 innings this year.
"It's pretty amazing, really, all the innings he has thrown," Bochy said of Cain, a three-time All-Star and this year's Opening Day starter for the reigning World Series champions.
Cain endured three rough innings against Pittsburgh, yielding three runs and seven hits, before taking the mound for the fourth. Sanchez led off the inning by lashing a 1-1 pitch up the middle. The ball was hit so hard that Cain couldn't dodge it as it caromed off his forearm to second baseman Marco Scutaro, who scooped the ball from his glove to first base for the out.
Cain, who remained on his feet, propped his hands on his knees as he watched the play unfold. Once the out was recorded, Bochy and head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner rushed to the mound to examine Cain, who didn't consider staying in the game. Only a few moments passed before he strode from the field and was relieved by right-hander Guillermo Moscoso.
"It caught me pretty good," Cain said. "It didn't feel very good right off the bat."
Cain nearly missed a start for physical reasons in 2009, when a line drive hit by San Diego pitcher Tim Stauffer struck him in his right elbow on July 11. But the All-Star break allowed Cain to gain extra rest and enabled the Giants to push back his turn in the rotation until July 19, providing sufficient time for the bruise to subside.
Cain had flashbacks to the Stauffer incident after he absorbed the impact of Sanchez's liner.
"Knowing how I felt before when I got it in 2009, I kind of had the same feeling that it wasn't very good."
Troublesome Achilles puts Torres on DL
SAN FRANCISCO -- No longer able to endure his mostly private agony, Giants outfielder Andres Torres went on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with a left Achilles tendon strain.
Torres acknowledged that the condition of his foot has been "up and down" this season. His pain became too excruciating after Wednesday's game against Boston, prompting him to seek medical help. The popular switch-hitter said that he likely will visit Dr. Robert Anderson, a foot specialist in Charlotte, N.C., for advice on how to treat his injury. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said surgery is a possibility though not a certainty.
Bochy said he became aware of the extent of Torres' ailment three or four days ago. But Bochy wasn't upset about the 35-year-old's reluctance to be entirely open with the medical and athletic training staffs. Torres said his ailment has "been bothering me for a long time" but didn't specify the duration.
"These players have their aches and pains and don't always talk about them," Bochy said. "If they can play, they'll go out there and play. This isn't a case where we thought he was hiding anything. You always appreciate a player who wants to be out there and play. I can talk to almost every one of them out there, and there's probably something going on, especially here in August. Including my [coaching] staff. It goes with the territory."
Torres initially injured his Achilles tendon early in the 2011 season and went on the disabled list. He has a bone spur in the afflicted area, which has worsened the pain and affected his performance.
"I've always said that age doesn't matter," said Torres, 35. "But you want to play at 100 percent. You don't want to play at 80 percent. That's why my defense hasn't been the best."
Torres acknowledged that his sore foot has robbed him of his power by denying him the physical foundation every hitter needs. He hit .250 in 103 games, including 64 starts, with two homers and 21 RBIs. Torres batted .206 left-handed and .291 right-handed, but both of his homers occurred swinging left-handed. He stole only four bases in seven attempts this year after stealing 58 bases in the previous three seasons.
"I respect this organization," said Torres, whom San Francisco traded to the Mets during the 2011 Winter Meetings before signing him to a one-year, $2 million deal last offseason. "Playing like this is not going to be good for me or the organization."
Zito to get another start against Rockies
SAN FRANCISCO -- Manager Bruce Bochy announced Thursday that under existing circumstances, Barry Zito will remain in the Giants' starting rotation to face the Colorado Rockies on Monday.
"We're not going to change anything. That's the plan right now," Bochy said.
Removed from the rotation Aug. 2, Zito made four relief appearances before being named to replace the injured Chad Gaudin to start Wednesday against Boston. Zito pitched a scoreless first inning but was victimized by subpar defense and Will Middlebrooks' second-inning home run. The left-hander ultimately allowed six runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Overall, Zito is 4-9 with a 5.63 ERA in 26 appearances, including 22 starts.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.