Andres Torres is out for three weeks our so if you believe the original report, though a rival GM thinks Torres is done for the year. All Mike Murphy knows is that it’s going to take a while to clean up all of those footnotes and index entries that spilled out everywhere when Torres's appendix burst. What a mess.
When Rich Aurilia had his appendectomy in 2003, he was back in two weeks. I’ll assume that Torres will recover just as quickly because my training at Hollywood Upstairs Medical College tells me so. Even though Torres was slumping, his defense never faltered. He needs to come back. Soon. Please. That tweet from Buster Olney scared me. Also of note: that last sentence would have scared me if I had read it five years ago.
In the interim, the Giants are figuring out what they already knew: this isn’t a team filled with great leadoff options. Aaron Rowand has led off almost 40 games this season. That’s only ten words right there, but it’s a sentence just filled with information. Maybe Torres heard that sentence as he was walking by the press box, and that’s why his appendix had to be removed. Doctors found implication shrapnel like "Wait, did Bochy stick Rowand there because he had a three-week hot streak from the leadoff spot last year?" and "Oh, man, there just aren’t a lot of people who can get on base on this team" sticking out of Torres’s small intestines after the sentence "Aaron Rowand has led off almost 40 games this season" exploded.
Cody Ross? He’s Rowand in a good year. Aaron Rowand? He’s Rowand in a bad year. Eugenio Velez? C’mon now, this is a pennant race. Darren Ford? A .315 on-base percentage in AA disqualifies you for the job, sorry, random talk-radio callers. Freddy Sanchez? Doesn’t walk enough, and he’s a little slow. Buster Posey? Need the (comparative) power lower in the order, same with Aubrey Huff.
There isn’t a good answer. There just isn’t. So absent a legitimate solution, it’s hard to get too worked up. Ross seems to be able to make a pitcher work when he wants to. He can take it. If Freddy Sanchez were to hit leadoff, maybe his approach would change a little. Fine. Heck, I’d even be for Posey up there, as it would maximize his plate appearances for the season – even if the difference is a single at-bat, it might be one that comes in the ninth inning against Huston Street.
My only suggestion is this: not Aaron Rowand against right-handed starters. Please, no. Lineup construction is overrated, and it probably wouldn’t make a huge difference if Rowand were to lead off instead of hit eighth until Torres returned, but it’s just wrong. Hitting Rowand leadoff is like wearing sweatpants to interview for a job you don’t think you’re going to get. There probably would have been another reason you didn’t get the job, but it didn’t hurt that you guaranteed your failure just to be a little more comfortable.
Vote no on Prop. Aa. No Rowand in the leadoff spot. Please, if nothing else, just keep him out of there for aesthetic purposes. I’d rather have Rowand in the lineup over Jose Guillen against left-handers, but he should hit lower in the order. Please.
And come back soon, Andres. Come back soon.