SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro was activated from the 60-day disabled list Friday and will be available off the bench.

The Giants designated struggling Brandon Hicks for assignment to make room for Scutaro on the 25-man active roster and the 40-man roster.

Scutaro, the 2012 NLCS most valuable player for the Giants, hasn't played since September of last season because of a sore back. It's not fully healed, and he'll likely always have to deal with some pain, but his rehabilitation has progressed enough that the Giants feel he can contribute.

"I'm looking forward just to come back and feel a part of this team," Scutaro said. "It's always hard when you're always watching games on TV and you can't help. At the same time, it is what it is. You just try to get better and get back here."

San Francisco Giants’ Marco Scutaro (19) pops out to shortstop against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fourth inning at AT&T Park in San Francisco,
San Francisco Giants' Marco Scutaro (19) pops out to shortstop against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fourth inning at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013. (Josie Lepe/Bay Area News Group) ( Josie Lepe )

Scutaro could see time off the bench Friday against the Arizona Diamondbacks, but manager Bruce Bochy said Scutaro will start at second base Saturday. The back likely won't let him become the everyday player he once was, but the Giants still hope he can be a spark for their struggling club, which has lost 21 of the past 29 games.

"He's one of our guys," Bochy said. "He's one of the core players that we envisioned playing with us breaking spring training. His experience, the veteran leadership that he provides, that's invaluable. So it's good to have him back. He's very popular in that clubhouse, so hopefully he's going to be a shot in the arm for us.


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"How much I can play him? I can't answer that until he gets out there and lets me know how he feels. But we have enough infielders to pick him up, and if it's as little as two, three days a week, that's fine. We'll use him off the bench."

Scutaro, 38, said he never gave much thought that his career could be done but that he grew frustrated with the unpredictability of his injury.

"I was pretty much just going day by day," Scutaro said. "Backs are hard to predict. That's the kind of frustrating part. One day you feel good and you go to bed, and the next day you're sore."

The soreness mostly bothers him when he swings the bat, and he said he feels aggravation in his back whenever he rotates it.

"To be honest, my back is better, but it's not the way it used to be a couple years ago," Scutaro said. "Pain is still there a little bit. Sometimes I have good days or bad days. I'm just going to try to go day by day. There's going to be days I'm going to be really sore and not going to be able to play."

When asked how the soreness could change his batting stroke, Scutaro said it was deeper than that.

"Bad backs change your life, not your stroke," he said. "If you're sitting -- hurts, you're standing up -- hurts, you're lying down -- hurts. It's not your stroke, it's your whole life. You're going to try to tie your shoes, it hurts. Every step you make hurts. It just sucks pretty much."

It's not exactly a ringing endorsement, but the Giants and Scutaro hope he can fight through it enough to make an impact.

Hicks was batting .162 and had gone hitless since June 11. After finishing April with five home runs and an .851 OPS, he batted .159 in May and lost the starting job at second base.

  • The Giants signed their first-round pick, right-handed pitcher Tyler Beede of Vanderbilt. He was at AT&T Park for the first time Friday night. He met with Bochy and watched batting practice from the dugout.

    "Everything's just happening really fast," Beede said of his first official day with the organization. "I was just out in the dugout getting a few interviews done and this was the first time I've ever been to the stadium so I was simultaneously looking around, taking in the sights, being a tourist here for a little bit. It's very exciting to be here, and I couldn't be happier for sure."

    Beede will report to Arizona to begin a throwing program and eventually join the Giants' Rookie League team. He compared his pitching style to Matt Cain and Ryan Vogelsong, as well as the St. Louis Cardinals' Michael Wacha. He throws a fastball that can reach the mid-90s along with a changeup and curveball.