SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants dropped left-hander David Huff from their pitching contingent, but they'd prefer that his departure is only temporary.
Huff, 29, was designated for assignment on Friday to clear room on the roster for right-hander Matt Cain, who started the series opener against the Mets.
The move left San Francisco with a 12-man pitching staff and a bench consisting of five position players, giving manager Bruce Bochy personnel flexibility that he hasn't always enjoyed this season.
Had the Giants retained Huff, they almost certainly would have optioned outfielder Juan Perez back to Triple-A Fresno, which would have forced Bochy to operate with an undermanned bench. The right-handed-hitting Perez started in left field on Friday against Mets lefty Jon Niese.
Nevertheless, Bochy expressed hope that Huff will clear waivers, which will enable the Giants to re-sign him. In that event, Bochy said, Huff likely would join Fresno's rotation.
"We'd be glad to have him back," Bochy said.
Huff reciprocated Bochy's sentiment.
"There's no hard feelings," Huff said. "I appreciate what this organization has done for me. If I end up clearing waivers and accepting my assignment, I won't be upset about that."
The Giants signed Huff shortly before Spring Training to add both starting and long-relief depth. He made the Opening Day roster but soon was hampered by a strained left quadriceps, an injury that put him on the DL. He went 1-0 with a 6.30 ERA in 16 appearances, six of which were multiple-inning outings.
Subtracting back-to-back performances against the Cubs on May 26 and Cardinals on May 30, in which he yielded four runs in each game, Huff recorded a 2.70 ERA.
That at least partly accounted for his surprise when Bochy and pitching coach Dave Righetti informed him of his fate.
"It was tough to hear the news," Huff said, "but ultimately, when it comes to this line of work, it's a business. You can't forget about that."
Casilla's health continues to improve
SAN FRANCISCO -- Right-hander Santiago Casilla's rapid recovery from a strained right hamstring is continuing unabated.
Manager Bruce Bochy said on Friday that Casilla, who was injured on May 21 at Colorado on an ill-advised sprint to first base during a rare plate appearance, will throw off a bullpen mound for the second time on Saturday. Barring setbacks, Casilla will repeat that exercise on Tuesday, at which point the Giants will decide whether he should face hitters in batting practice or begin a Minor League injury rehab assignment.
The Giants initially feared the worst about their top setup man as he writhed in pain at Coors Field.
"We didn't know if we were going to see him this year," said Bochy, who observed that Casilla's superb physical condition has probably helped him rebound quickly.
In addition, first baseman Brandon Belt expected to have the stabilizing pins removed from his fractured left thumb before Friday's game. Once that procedure is complete, the Giants' medical staff will be able to outline details for Belt's rehab program.