Gregor Blanco left yesterday's game in the second inning, which gave me indigestion. If Hunter Pence is out for a month, Angel Pagan's back is wonky, and Blanco is hurt, the outfield is basically Norichika Aoki, Justin Maxwell, and Travis ... no, Travis Ishikawa is ailing, too. What a mess.
Blanco was fine (Bruce Bochy just wanted to see Maxwell off the bench), but it looks like the Giants are willing to fiddle with some stuff while the games are still meaningless:
Today's #SFGiants lineup: Blanco cf Panik 2b Belt lf Posey c Crawford ss Maxwell rf Duffy 3b Arias 1b Bumgarner p— World Champs (@SFGiants) April 1, 2015
Brandon Belt is in left field, and things are getting weird. Not as weird as Travis Ishikawa starting in left field during the World Series, but still. Weird. We've mostly decided that Belt in the outfield doesn't make a lot of sense, but it's the Cactus League. Blow some test tubes up, see what leaks out.
In other news, Matt Duffy is starting for the Giants at third base, and that's something to note, too. Andrew Baggarly wrote about it here:
But there is massive sentiment both within the clubhouse and coaching staff to find a way to break with Duffy on the club. He’s hitting .385 this spring, but that’s not the reason so many within the organization are pulling for him. It’s the way he contributed down the stretch, fearlessly trusting his instincts at the plate and on the bases in so many tense situations as a rookie.
If he can play third capably, that gives the Giants the option to start McGehee against lefties at first, if Belt is playing the outfield that is, and ... aw, I'm all confused now. Still, the teeniest of tiny samples suggest that Duffy can be alright at the hot corner.
Check him out at third, see if he can handle it enough to be the utility infielder the Giants are looking for.
Heck, put Duffy in left, too.
Boy, I sure like Matt Duffy.
Do you like Matt Duffy? I sure do. I should probably cool it on him for a little while, lest I get embarrassed when he goes the way of Brian Dallimore.
Will any of this last? Probably not. It's still fascinating that the Giants are willing to try this so late in the spring. Belt might not get a single chance in the outfield, but it's still a surprise that he's there at all, even if we were teasted about the possibility.