Bochy rests Pagan, Sandoval for two very different reasons

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Bochy rests Pagan, Sandoval for two very different reasons

DENVER Angel Pagan is getting a day off Wednesday becauseof a stubborn cut on his left hand. Pablo Sandovals ailment is more difficultto pin down.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy wanted to take advantage ofThursdays day off to give both players a chance to recuperate.

Pagan has been battling a split callous on his hand sincespring training. Its not significant and hes available off the bench, butthis is the second to last time that Bochy can pair a rest with an off day toprovide a 48-hour respite.

As for Sandoval, he is 0 for 9 in two games at Coors Fieldand has been highly erratic at third base. Bochy didnt hesitate to take himout on a double switch in the sixth inning Tuesday night, and after a meeting withthe coaches to address his lack of production at the plate, Bochy said Sandovalcould benefit from watching a game.

I talked to Pablo and told him thats the plan, to give hima break, Bochy said. Back off a little bit. Hes been pressing. Let him getaway. Hes definitely fighting it and its starting to mount up on him as faras trying too hard.

Lets get him back to being relaxed and having fun. It hasntbeen fun for him the last couple games.

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In other pregame news, Xavier Nady ran curves and said hesoptimistic his strained hamstring will be serviceable to start in left fieldover the weekend in Arizona. The Giants will face three left-handers in theseries at Chase Field that begins on Friday.

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Theres still a buzz over Guillermo Motas outing fromTuesday night. A lot of folks saw the 3-2 breaking balls he threw and took itas a signal that hes back. Expect to see Mota in more leveraged situations.

Sergio Romo knows all about leverage, too. Hes available,and Bochy said hes very pleased with how Romo has been able to handle beingused more often this season. Hes really held up well with handling what wevethrown at him, Bochy said. Hes been able to go two and three (consecutive)days. Its a credit to his maintenance work.

Bochy evaluates Arroyo's slump, does not rule out sending him down

Bochy evaluates Arroyo's slump, does not rule out sending him down

CHICAGO — Bruce Bochy planned to give Christian Arroyo the day off Thursday as more of a mental break than a physical one. Eduardo Nuñez’s hamstring had other ideas. 

Nuñez thought he was fine Wednesday, that he just had a cramp, but he felt continued tightness in his left hamstring when he went back to the team hotel and he was scratched from the lineup late Thursday morning. Arroyo is back at third, hitting eighth. He’s hitless in his last 15 at-bats and his average has dipped to .196. 

“I brought him in and talked to him,” Bochy said. “He knew the situation. He’s a tough kid and he wants to play and fight through this skid. He’s handling it well, he’s still playing good defense. I really like the way he’s handling it.”

Bochy went into scout mode when talking about Arroyo, saying he makes several evaluations when a player is slumping. He watches the way Arroyo takes the field, and he said the joy and swagger is still there. He watches the glove, and that hasn’t been an issue, no matter what the numbers at the plate are.

“It’s easy to play with zest and energy when you’re doing well,” Bochy said. “You watch when they have a tough day, an 0-for-4, and how he carries himself. Christian is doing a good job of that.”

Bochy noted that Arroyo isn’t trying to slug his way out of this. He went the other way with a runner on third last night, driving in a run. He has shown an ability to get runners in, which this team needs, but the numbers are what they are. Arroyo is batting .130 over his last 12 games with two extra-base hits, which have also happened to be huge ones. 

Two weeks ago, it seemed crazy to think Arroyo might be sent down. But Aaron Hill and Conor Gillaspie will return on the next homestand and the Giants don’t have that many spots to play with. There’s a lot at play here. There are service time implications in sending Arroyo down, and Nuñez could come into play if he can’t handle left with a sore leg. Perhaps the Giants move him back to third or 10-day DL him.

The Giants are talking about all this daily and there are questions to be asked. Isn’t the team better with Arroyo, even if he is fighting it at the plate? Are Hill and Gillaspie worthy of bumping a top prospect back down temporarily? Is Arroyo best served seeing tough pitches from big leaguers or going back down to continue beating up on Triple-A starters? On the last point, Bochy said he thinks seeing Major League pitching is invaluable. He wouldn’t, however, indicate a lean one way or the other on what the front office will do.

“I don’t want to make assumptions here on what we’ll do because we do have moves to make with Conor and Aaron Hill,” he said. “They’re not easy (decisions) but we have to figure out what we’re going to do.”

Giants lineup: Nunez scratched, Williamson in left field

Giants lineup: Nunez scratched, Williamson in left field

Bruce Bochy and Joe Maddon issued their lineups for today's series finale in Chicago:

Giants (20-28)
1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Joe Panik (L) 2B
3. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
6. Justin Ruggiano (R) RF
7. Mac Williamson (R) LF
8. Christian Arroyo (R) 3B
9. Jeff Samardzija (R) P (1-5, 4.57 ERA)

Cubs (24-21)
1. Ben Zobrist (S) 2B
2. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
3. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
4. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
5. Ian Happ (S) CF
6. Jason Heyward (L) RF
7. Miguel Montero (L) C
8. Javier Baez (R) SS
9. Eddie Butler (R) P (1-0, 2.00 ERA)