Issue: Six men, four spots
Analysis: Giants manager Bruce Bochy managed to make the outfield/first-base situation more confusing Tuesday night, and that seemed almost impossible to do given the swirling stats and implications thereof with which we’ve been confounded all spring.
How did Bochy do it? Well, to start with, he suggested that he might go with nonroster, minor-league invitee, journeyman, no-name sensation Gregor Blanco as his leadoff man to take pressure off struggling Angel Pagan and move him down in the batting order.
Pagan, of course, was one of the team’s two “high-profile” offseason additions, along with Melky Cabrera (aka The Best Player Ever). He scuffled in a big way at the plate during Cactus League play, though, and Blanco — a very similar player to Pagan in terms of skill set — tore it up.
But because Pagan was brought in with considerable hype and touted as the replacement for fan-favorite Andres Torres (and at the additional expense of solid reliever Ramon Ramirez), he has to play. So does Cabrera. And does not Nate Schierholtz?
So where does Blanco fit in again?
But wait. Bochy also suggested that Aubrey Huff could be the starting left fielder, with Brandon Belt at first base.
Messy, messy, messy. For now. Give it a couple of weeks and it’ll sort itself out. In the meantime, here’s a prediction: Huff in left, Pagan in center, Cabrera in right, Belt at first. At least to start the season.
Schierholtz gets hosed, but that’s been his star-crossed career in a nutshell, anyway.