PHILADELPHIA -- The Giants aren't necessarily looking to trade Nate Schierholtz, even though he's made it clear he would welcome a fresh opportunity elsewhere.
That's not to state Schierholtz won't be dealt before the July 31 trade deadline. He's a useful player and other clubs will be sure to inquire about his availability. Maybe it'll take parting with Schierholtz, by himself or as part of a package, to bring in someone who could impact the team in another way.
But I can tell you this much, as the Giants take the field on a pleasant Saturday afternoon in Philly: Schierholtz isn't in the lineup because GM Brian Sabean wants to showcase him.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy is sitting Gregor Blanco against a left-hander, as has become the fashion. Instead of Justin Christian, Bochy is going with Schierholtz because he's 4-for-6 against Phillies starter Cole Hamels. And as Bochy pointed out, Hamels is tough on lefties and righties alike. It's a decision that makes pretty good baseball sense.
Plus Bochy liked Schierholtz's at-bats the previous night, when he started in place of struggling outfielder Angel Pagan.
Sure, Schierholtz hasn't played nearly as much as he hoped. He's on pace for just 248 at-bats this season, which is almost 100 fewer than last year. It's understandable that a 28-year-old outfielder would feel a sense of urgency to get an everyday opportunity, through hot streaks and cold streaks, to get his career going while his window is still open.
For now, though, he is not just hanging onto a roster spot. If Pagan continues to struggle against right-handers, Schierholtz's time could pick up. And there's always the chance someone could get hurt. Depth is a good thing to have.
So don't assume that Schierholtz is playing his last two weeks as a Giant.
Aubrey Huff's MRI exam showed patellar tendinitis in his left knee. He'll rest over the weekend and be reevaluated.
Brandon Crawford, who hit a grand slam as part of a five-RBI night, is out of the lineup against Hamels. Joaquin Arias is at shortstop instead, and Brandon Belt is starting in the No. 8 spot for the first time all season (second time in his career).
NEWS: Giants lineup -- Arias, Belt in
Feel free to argue the baseball sense of those decisions to your heart's content.