SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants designated reliever Steve Kline for assignment and placed shortstop Omar Vizquel on the 15-day disabled list in a flurry of moves the team made Sunday to get down to the 25-player limit.
A day after optioning backup catcher Eliezer Alfonzo to Triple-A Fresno, San Francisco kept busy by trimming seven more players from the roster.
Starting pitcher Noah Lowry, projected third in the Giants rotation before undergoing surgery on his left wrist in early March, was also placed on the 15-day DL along with right-hander Vinnie Chulk and infielder Kevin Frandsen. All the moves are retroactive to March 21.
The decision to designate the left-handed Kline for assignment probably means the end of his two-year stay in San Francisco. The Giants have 10 days to either trade the 35-year-old reliever or expose him to the waiver wire, where he'll likely garner attention from teams looking for bullpen help. San Francisco is responsible for his $1.75 million salary unless he's claimed.
"Any time you have a veteran like Kline, the kind of player and teammate he is, it's always difficult," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "We just felt at this point we should give some kids an opportunity. It seemed like he understood."
Kline was 1-2 with two saves and a 4.70 ERA in 2007 and has been one of the most durable relievers in the game over the past 10 years. Since 1998 he's appeared in 750 games, tops in the major leagues.
This spring Kline had a 5.40 ERA in 11 games with six strikeouts and three walks.
"This is always the toughest time of the year for a manager, getting your squad set and making difficult decisions like a Kline," Bochy said. "But at the same time, this is our club and I'm excited to get this going."
Vizquel, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Feb. 27, was placed on the DL but continues to make progress in his recovery. He played in a minor league game for the second straight day Sunday, going 0-for-2 in four innings.
Chulk (right shoulder strain) also played in a minor league game for San Francisco, throwing 17 pitches with one strikeout and one walk in one inning.
In other moves, the Giants reassigned right-handed pitcher Bartolome Fortunato and infielder Justin Leone to their minor league camp. San Francisco has 11 players who are on an opening day roster for the first time in their career.
That includes Brian Bocock, San Francisco's starting shortstop until Vizquel returns, and backup catcher Steve Holm. The Giants purchased the contracts of both players, along with right-handed pitcher Keiichi Yabu's, from Fresno on Sunday to complete their busy day.