CHICAGO – Center fielder Angel Pagan was scratched from Saturday’s lineup because of a sore right wrist, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Left fielder Gregor Blanco replaced Pagan atop the lineup. Andres Torres takes Pagan’s place in center field and is batting seventh against Cubs strikeout artist Jeff Samardzija.
Pagan jammed his wrist making that diving catch in Thursday’s comeback victory. He’s expected to be available to pinch run and is probable to return to the lineup Sunday, Bochy said.
While Pagan can snuggle up next to the dugout heater, it’s going to be a shiver for the rest of the starting lineup. Horizontal snow gave way to sunny conditions this morning – that’s Chicago for you – and now it’s overcast and quite cold. It might be under 40 degrees at first pitch. (And yet Sunday’s forecast calls for a high of 70. Again … Chicago.)
Buster Posey looked like a ninja as he took batting practice with a ski mask, and check my Twitter feed for a photo of that. It was the first time all series the Giants hit pregame on the field; they missed a lot of BP on the last homestand, too, with all the ceremonies.
There was one more small ceremony on the field during BP, as Bochy handed Cubs outfielder Nate Schierholtz his baby blue Tiffany box. Schierholtz smiled broadly as he opened it and beheld his World Series ring.
“It’s a little different (from 2010) because I wasn’t a part of the team to the end,” said Schierholtz, who was dealt to Philly in the Hunter Pence trade July 31.
But yes, Schiertholtz realizes what an oddity he is – a Cubs player receiving his World Series ring on the grass at Wrigley Field.
It was a toss-up whether to put Blanco or Torres in center field.
“To be honest, I’m not smart enough to know who’s better,” Bochy said. “Both are so gifted out there.”
In other pregame news, Bochy said he could envision Brandon Crawford as a No.2 hitter later in his career. For now, he’ll remain in the No.8 spot most of the time. But he’s earned the right to hit against left-handers, both to start against them and most of the time, to hit in the late innings, too.
The other day, Bochy said he had Joaquin Arias ready to go against lefty James Russell in the eighth inning, but he liked how Crawford looked the previous day while getting a hit off lefty Hisanori Takahashi. Crawford rewarded Bochy with a single up the middle before Torres hit into a double play.
“He’s an everyday guy,” Bochy said.
Bochy will put Sergio Romo behind emergency glass today. As I wrote yesterday, Romo is on pace to appear in 103 games. He blew his first save chance in seven opportunities Friday, but likely would be off even if he converted it.
RF S. Hairston