Giants designate second baseman Joe Panik for assignment

              San Diego Padres' Greg Garcia, center, is caught stealing as San Francisco Giants second baseman Joe Panik, left, applies the tag during the sixth inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 27, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Orlando Ramirez)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The San Francisco Giants designated second baseman Joe Panik for assignment Tuesday, no longer needing him to play regularly with the acquisition of Scooter Gennett at the trade deadline.

Bruce Bochy called it one of the most difficult meetings he has had in his managerial career when he informed Panik after Monday night’s 4-0 loss to the Nationals.

The 28-year-old Panik, a first-round draft pick by the Giants in 2011 and key contributor on San Francisco’s 2014 World Series champion team, was batting .235 with three homers and 27 RBIs in 103 games this season.

Bochy said both he and Panik were understandably emotional when they spoke.

“It’s always tough when you see one of your guys go,” Bochy said. “Joe was drafted by the Giants, he’s a Giant. He’s done so many good things for us, helped us win championships here. It’s a case for Joe he’s ready to look for a new opportunity and a chance to restart his career. His role had changed here. He’ll be playing somewhere, and I’ll always be pulling for Joe. I can’t thank him enough for all he did here for us.”

Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said the timing of the move made sense Tuesday with the club needing to call up Conner Menez to start the middle game of the series with Washington.

Gennett came in a trade from the Reds as San Francisco sought more offense in the lineup.

“We have been in a situation where we’ve been looking to get a little more production out of that second base spot,” Zaidi said. “The last few days actually Joe kind of got in some games, pinch hit, got double-switched in, some of what Boch talked about the day after the deadline of how he was going to use him, and actually helped us out a couple of those games, which is kind of what you’ve come to expect from Joe. He’s a winning ballplayer. It didn’t seem fair to him to keep him in this role.”