Two days after lasting just 2 2/3 innings in the biggest shutout loss in San Francisco history, Brett Tomko was demoted to the Giants' bullpen.
Pitching coach Dave Righetti broke the news to Tomko (5-10), who has lost three straight starts and hasn't won since beating the Mets in New York on June 5.
"He took it like a man," said Righetti, who acknowledged the move was a demotion, but denied it was punishment.
Tomko started Sunday's 16-0 defeat at Oakland and allowed six runs and 10 hits in his shortest outing of the season. Manager Felipe Alou and Righetti declined to say who would start Friday at San Diego, which would have been Tomko's 17th start.
Tomko has the tools and easy warmup style to be a setup man or closer but is an obvious candidate to pitch long relief as well.
"He's somebody who can go out there and throw three or four innings of baseball, so you've got yourself a backup for a young pitcher," Righetti said. "But there's a fine line there. This guy is still in the middle of his career in terms of his age and everything, and you want to see him be able to start for this team in the future, maybe end up relieving in the future, but either way you want his so-called arsenal for himself be broadened."
Tomko was the Giants' top starter down the stretch last season, posting a 5-1 record and 1.43 ERA in his last eight starts. He missed his third straight 200-inning season because of a stretch on the disabled list in June.
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