SAN FRANCISCO – Barely 24 hours before the non-waiver trade deadline, Giants manager Bruce Bochy sat at his desk and tried to sound a hopeful tone.
“We’re close to getting a couple guys,” Bochy said.
He was talking about Brandon Belt and Angel Pagan, though. The Giants take the field against the Pirates on Wednesday trying to avoid being swept in a homestand of six games or more for the first time in the club’s San Francisco era.
If you’re looking for bright spots … well, two fully attached retinas can only do so much. But at least the Giants are reasonably sure that this will be the last home game they’ll play without Belt and Pagan, both of whom are expected to rejoin the active roster at some point on the 10-game road trip that begins Friday in New York.
Will they add anyone else, say, Emilio Bonifacio or Asdrubal Cabrera or Chris Denorfia?
Those are among the irons in the fire, but nothing was imminent at least as the first pitch neared Wednesday.
There wasn’t an update on Matt Cain’s visit to Dr. Andrews’ office, either. There could be news after the game.
As for Belt, he’s facing live hitting and continues to increase his cardio work with no relapse of concussion symptoms. He’ll travel with the club to New York and could be activated at some point this weekend. Pagan (back ailment) will do another full pregame routine in Arizona and is tentatively scheduled to play a rehab game Friday. Bochy wasn’t sure if Hector Sanchez (concussion) will travel with the team to New York but he’ll need a few more days to allow symptoms to clear.
Bochy hoped to clear Brandon Crawford’s head, too. He moved the struggling shortstop up to second in the order, which is not the customary move you make with a guy who is batting .155 in his last 26 games. But Bochy hoped to use Crawford to bunt and move runners from that spot, at least giving him a shot to make a productive out or two.
Bochy and Crawford held a lengthy meeting Wednesday morning and they discussed changes he can make to his setup and approach – especially against right-handed pitchers. Crawford’s reverse split, .311 vs. lefties and .198 vs. right-handers, has gotten extreme.
“His numbers should not be what they are vs. right-handed pitching,” Bochy said of Crawford, whose overall average is down to .233. “He’s a better hitter than that. We’re trying to get him to shorten up, handle all four quadrants. We’re looking to tweak a couple things, cut down a little movement, maybe open up a hair. It’s time to try some things to get him going.”
Crawford is no scapegoat, though. When you score five runs in five games, it’s a team-wide problem.
“The only way to get out of this is to work harder, to try harder,” Bochy said. “Everybody’s got to work to get out of this thing right now.”