Giants notes: Panik's future in two-spot, Belt becomes father

Giants notes: Panik's future in two-spot, Belt becomes father
August 28, 2014, 1:45 pm
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I think that could eventually be a spot for him, sooner than later. I think he could be a good two-hole hitter.
Bruce Bochy on Joe Panik

There were a couple changes in today's Giants lineup. Manager Bruce Bochy intimated that one of those adjustments could become permanent before too long.

Michael Morse is getting a rest day. In order to add some experience in the middle of the order after Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval, Bochy moved Hunter Pence to the fifth spot.

Joe Panik, who's looked very comfortable hitting at the bottom of the order in recent weeks, will bat second.

"I think that could eventually be a spot for him, sooner than later," Bochy said. "I think he could be a good two-hole hitter."

Bochy later said that he's more interested in putting his best hitters at the top of the lineup than worrying about putting a specific type of hitter – like one who's known for bat control, for instance.

Lately, Panik has been one of the team's best and hottest hitters, raising his average from .203 on Aug. 2 to .297 going into today's game.

***

The original lineup had Brandon Crawford hitting eighth, but Bochy changed his mind. Matt Duffy will start at shortstop for the second straight game after a strong performance on Wednesday night.

"Brandon could go out there, but he's got some general soreness. This is one of those deals where I think two days will benefit him more than one," Bochy said.

***

Yusmeiro Petit starts today in place of Tim Lincecum, whose stay in the bullpen could be short-lived.

[NEWS: Petit breaks Buehrle's MLB record]

Bochy mentioned Barry Zito, Ryan Vogelsong and Madison Bumgarner as starters who benefitted from skipping a start or two. Bumgarner missed a turn in the 2012 NLCS, then came back and pitched seven shutout innings in Game 2 of the World Series against the Tigers.

"This is probably time for (Lincecum) to work things out," Bochy said.

"You get to a point of diminishing return. You've got to change it up. He's been here before as far as struggles, so he can handle this."

While Tim Lincecum is available to pitch today, there's no guarantee he'll make a relief appearance at all. However, if Petit keeps pitching the way he has in his last seven appearances, he might be impossible to dislodge from the rotation.

"Obviously Petit, that's always the player's performance that dictates what move you make," said Bochy.

***

Brandon Belt's wife Haylee gave birth to a baby boy yesterday. Like his father, Greyson Ellis Belt is a tall kid -- 20 ½ inches.

"It was a 10-pounder," said Bochy, who didn't know the baby's name before the game.

How about "Bruce"?

"Well, I have a better chance than Marco," quipped Bochy.

Marco Scutaro threw the ball that caused Belt's concussion in Miami.

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