Giants notes: Bochy mulls options to replace Scutaro

Giants notes: Bochy mulls options to replace Scutaro
March 24, 2014, 5:45 pm
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When we get to San Francisco, I think you’ll see which way we’re going to go there.
Bruce Bochy

Programming note: Giants Insider Andrew Baggarly is in Arizona; check back for his coverage throughout spring training and watch SportsNet Central nightly at 6 and 10:30 p.m. for all the day’s MLB news.

TEMPE, Ariz. – The Giants haven’t placed Marco Scutaro on the disabled list yet, but the front office spent a good chunk of Monday morning discussing alternatives for the No. 2 spot in the order. 

So you probably won’t be knocked over to learn that Bruce Bochy said this about Scutaro after Monday’s 11-4 loss to the Angels: “The chances of him starting with us are way down.”

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Time for some new news, then. What about that No. 2 spot in the order?

Bochy said several possibilities were discussed, including leaving Joaquin Arias in the No. 2 spot so the rest of the regulars wouldn’t be disrupted from their regular spots. Bochy has batted Brandon Belt and Michael Morse in the second spot in recent days, and wouldn’t rule out using either of them there. Brandon Crawford is starting to sizzle with the bat – he hit a double and a triple on Monday – and he’s no stranger to the No. 2 spot.

Bochy is likely to shuffle personnel based on platoon splits, so perhaps Arias and Crawford could split time there.

“Believe me, we’ve been talking about it quite a bit,” Bochy said. “When we get to San Francisco, I think you’ll see which way we’re going to go there.”

The best fit just might be Belt, with his blend of on-base skills and running ability. While no pure burner, Belt is capable of scoring from second or going first to third on a single.

“I think it’s a good spot,” Belt told me the other day. “I like being at the top of the order. There are a lot of opportunities to create runs. I don’t feel I’d be out of my element hitting in that spot.”

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Bochy had planned for Belt to hit third against right-handers and perhaps drop down to sixth in the order against lefties.

Notes: Marco Scutaro won’t play in either of the final two Cactus League games, Bruce Bochy confirmed. But the manager stopped short of totally ruling out the veteran second baseman proving himself in minor league games. … Michael Morse singled and doubled as the DH and he’ll start in left field on Tuesday. … Buster Posey took ground balls at first base and will get a start at the position Tuesday, Bochy said. … What should be made of the fact Derek Law is still in camp after relievers like Heath Hembree and George Kontos have been optioned? “As much as anything, he opened some eyes with what he did in the Fall League and this spring,” Bochy said. “We want to give him as much experience and exposure to this level of play. He’s got the equipment to pitch in the major leagues. He throws 93-94, throws strikes with two breaking balls and a nice change.” Translation: The Giants are reasonably sure Law will contribute this season, and whenever he debuts, they don’t want him to be overwhelmed by pitching in a big league park for the first time.


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