Giants activate Carlos Beltran

SAN FRANCISCO -- Carlos Beltran is back. His San Francisco Giants are still reeling big time.

The Giants activated Beltran from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday, though he was held out of the starting lineup to give his strained right hand and wrist another day to heal. The switch-hitting Beltran took early batting practice from both sides and will start Wednesday night against the San Diego Padres if he feels OK before the game.

Beltran was available off the bench against the Padres on Tuesday. He said he doesn't believe the injury will heal completely and he will likely just have to play through it the rest of the way.

"I'm hoping everything goes well, man," Beltran said. "I'm going crazy. These 15 days have been hell, actually, because I cannot do anything. ... It's been disappointing not being able to play, not being out there competing with the team. I was doing everything I could to make this pain go away faster."

San Francisco placed left-handed starter Jonathan Sanchez on the 15-day DL. He had been doubtful to make his next start because of a sprained left ankle that has limited his ability to throw. Manager Bruce Bochy wasn't sure who would start in his place Saturday, though Dan Runzler filled in last time. He was knocked out of the game after 1 2/3 innings at Houston on Sunday.

Also Tuesday, outfielder Nate Schierholtz was in a walking boot for a broken bone in his right foot.

Beltran, acquired in a July 28 trade with the New York Mets, was hurt swinging against the Philadelphia Phillies' Roy Oswalt on Aug. 7. The Giants placed five players on the disabled list during their recent 4-6 road trip and six others missed time with injuries.

"The number on a 10-day road trip is really stunning," Bochy said.

He believes Beltran will provide a boost to morale as well as a struggling offense.

"This guy is a tremendous player. He changes the ballclub. We're better with him in the lineup," Bochy said. "He was a need for us, still is. I really believe we can get him back in there and get him healthy and we'll be better offensively."

The 34-year-old Beltran is batting .244 with no home runs and two RBIs with 11 strikeouts in 11 games since joining the Giants -- and is eager to do more.

"Just being out there means a lot," he said. "This is where I wanted to be -- on a team fighting to go to the playoffs, and we have that opportunity."

The defending World Series champion Giants began the day trailing the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks by only one game in the NL West race despite losing 16 of their last 23 games.

"Considering what we've been through, especially that road trip with a number of injuries and DLs that happened to us, we're in a pretty good position," Bochy said. "It could be worse, so we should be thankful for that. It's going to be a tight race, we know it. The fact that we've had to deal with what we had to on that last trip, we'll get through it."

Schierholtz has hit safely in seven of his last eight games and went 9 for 32 with two homers and two RBIs on the road trip. He fouled a pitch from Atlanta's Tim Hudson off his foot in the series opener with the Braves on Aug. 15. Schierholtz played through it, then had an MRI during Monday's off day. A CT scan followed to confirm the fracture.

The foot hurts when he runs, throws and swings.

"I'd like to think that it's not that bad," Schierholtz said before heading in to be examined by a team doctor. "It's been bothering me pretty bad since. I've been trying to play with it. The whole last week it was sore."

There is no timetable for when injured closer Brian Wilson will get on a mound. He has an inflamed right elbow.

San Francisco should get some reinforcements soon.

Bochy said his players haven't been ones to "do the poor, poor pitiful me" talk during this tough stretch.

Catcher Eli Whiteside is set to come off the concussion list Thursday and center fielder Andres Torres (lower right leg contusion) will likely be activated from the DL on Saturday when eligible.

Whiteside had two concussions at the Double-A level, including one that knocked him unconscious and landed him in the hospital for three days.

"I don't want to go out there afraid of what might happen," he said. "But I will probably slide feet-first for a while."