SAN FRANCISCO -- Newly acquired Marco Scutaro arrived to AT&T Park on Saturday morning to meet his new teammates and coaches and was in the starting lineup at third base a few hours later against the Dodgers.

The Giants acquired the 36-year-old veteran infielder and cash from the Rockies on Friday in exchange for Triple-A infielder Charlie Culberson. Scutaro got a warm clubhouse welcome from former A's teammates Barry Zito and Santiago Casilla, as well as Melky Cabrera and Gregor Blanco, whom he knows from winter-ball play in Venezuela.

"They're in first place; that says a lot," Scutaro said of the Giants. "It's a great team, great pitching. Seems like every year they're fighting for a playoff spot. I think we have an opportunity to do something special. I have the opportunity to play in the postseason, and that's what you work for in the offseason. I'm here, and I'm very excited."

Having played mostly shortstop and second base since 2008, Scutaro will be asked to play mostly third base initially with Pablo Sandoval's strained left hamstring. Scutaro said he hasn't even taken ground balls at third since '08.

"It'll probably take a little bit to get used to the angle," Scutaro said. "It's a little different angle of the bat, but you have to get used to it and just catch the ball."

Scutaro was batting .271 for the Rockies with 47 runs and 30 RBIs. He batted seventh in the lineup Saturday.

"He's a professional hitter," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He could lead off against left-handers. He knows what he's trying to do up there, and he gives us an experienced bat. He's been doing some pretty good things with the bat; he's had some pretty clutch hits."

Giants put Sandoval on DL, activate Huff

SAN FRANCISCO -- Ending the uncertainty surrounding Pablo Sandoval's playing status, the Giants elected Saturday to assign the third baseman to the 15-day disabled list and replace him on the active roster by reinstating first baseman Aubrey Huff from the DL.

Sandoval's DL stint is retroactive to Wednesday, one day after he strained his left hamstring while stretching for a throw as he played first base. Manager Bruce Bochy said he's "hopeful" that Sandoval, who's batting .299 with eight home runs and 33 RBIs in 62 games, can rejoin the lineup when he becomes eligible to do so on Aug. 9.

"We have to be smart about it and make sure we don't rush him. Because that's going to be the urge," Bochy said.

Newly acquired infielder Marco Scutaro will serve as San Francisco's primary third baseman in Sandoval's absence.

Since Sandoval's injury, the Giants had hoped that he would respond to intensive daily treatment. The need to maintain a full complement of position players forced them to abandon that plan.

"We don't want to go short here for an unknown number of days," Bochy said. "... The best thing to do is give [Sandoval] his full 15 days."

Huff last appeared in a game for the Giants on June 10, three days before he sprained his right knee while trying to scale the dugout railing to join the on-field celebration following Matt Cain's perfect game. More recently, Huff was bothered by patellar tendinitis in the knee. But he has recovered enough to withstand the part-time use Bochy envisions for him -- pinch-hitting, entering games as part of a double-switch and starting occasionally.

"He gives us an experienced bat coming off the bench," Bochy said of Huff, who's batting .155 with one home run and five RBIs in 32 games.

Burriss designated for assignment by Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants designated infielder Emmanuel Burriss for assignment Saturday to make room on the roster for new trade acquisition Marco Scutaro.

Burriss, the Giants' 2006 first-round Draft pick, has batted .214 in 131 at-bats this season in 52 games and has a .243 career average since being called up in '08.

"The emotions are kind of high only because I've been here since I was drafted," Burriss said. "The one thing I learned since I've been here is that this is a big business. They have to make the move, and I completely understand. Honestly, it looks like it's the best fit for the team."

Burriss said he remains open to returning to the Giants but that his first priority is finding more playing time with another club, and Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he expects a move to be made within the next few days, hoping to find a better opportunity for the 27-year-old infielder.

"Obviously that's why this could be a pretty good opportunity for him," Bochy said. "I know his playing time has been cut down, and really that was a case of how well [Ryan] Theriot has been playing. What he needs now is a chance to show what he can do, and maybe another club will have something for him, and if they do, I'd be happy for him to have that opportunity."