WASHINGTON -- Pitcher Jonathan Sanchez will return to the Giants on Saturday, only this time in a starting role.
Sanchez, a left-hander, will be called up from Triple-A Fresno to pitch in place of Tim Lincecum on Saturday.
Lincecum will get an extra few days' rest and may start Tuesday, which would also provide rest for fatigued pitcher Noah Lowry.
"We have some arms in need of a break," manager Bruce Bochy said before Friday's series opener against the Nationals.
Sanchez has been with the Giants previously this season, most recently allowing four runs while recording no outs Aug. 10 in Pittsburgh.
Before that, he allowed two runs in two innings against Washington on Aug. 7, when Barry Bonds hit his 756th home run.
But Sanchez has also had some solid outings, and the team wanted to make sure the lefty was given enough experience to develop his arm properly.
"He has tons of potential," Bochy said. "We wanted him to go down there and pitch some innings, to try to get consistency on all his pitches."
The manager emphasized that Lincecum has no health problems, but this is his first full season in the Major Leagues, and the team is wary of having him throw too many innings and burn out his arm. He's already thrown 161 1/3, including 31 at the Triple-A level.
By moving Lincecum back, Bochy can also offer a break to Lowry, who said he felt fatigued after Wednesday's outing against Colorado.
Great...let's rest Timmy against WAS and than start him at Coors. Wonderful idea