Giants preparing for youth movement down stretch

Giants preparing for youth movement down stretch
August 23, 2013, 7:00 pm
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Nick Noonan was optioned on Friday, but he's likely to return when rosters expand Sept. 1. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

SAN FRANCISCO -- With the Giants’ postseason hopes extinguished, manager Bruce Bochy acknowledged Friday that younger players will get a longer look over the final five-plus weeks of the season.

“We are going to try to win all the games we can, but you’ll see some younger players getting some at-bats, some playing time, time on the mound,” Bochy said before Friday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. “We’re going to have to sit down and have a good evaluation of where we’re at, what we need to do. But more than anything, it’s gonna be important for us to come out here every day and play the game right, all-out, and try to win regardless of who’s out there.”

Which young players might get that extended audition?

That will become clear once rosters expand Sept. 1 and the Giants start bringing up prospects. Bochy did say that he doesn’t envision more prospects being promoted this season just because the Giants aren’t contending.

Of the younger players currently on the 25-man roster, Roger Kieschnick has been getting frequent time in left field. With Andres Torres potentially sidelined the rest of the season with a left Achilles strain, recent call-up Francisco Peguero figures to get some outfield time. First baseman Brett Pill could see more outfield time and has been taking grounders at third base in case he’s needed.

On the pitching side, the arrival of Triple-A reliever Heath Hembree is highly anticipated.

[REWIND: Hembree a near lock for September call-up]

One veteran who will have his innings curtailed the rest of the season is second baseman Marco Scutaro. He was not in Friday’s lineup and Bochy said Scutaro is likely to also sit out Sunday’s matinee to give his ailing back a rest.

[NEWS: Giants lineup: Kieschnick, Arias get start]

Scutaro, 37, is showing the wear and tear of a long season, and he’s also dealt with a left pinkie injury which might require an offseason procedure.

“He’ll get more days (off),” Bochy said, adding that it makes sense to target day games to rest Scutaro because “it’s easier for him to get loose and get ready for night games.”

Nick Noonan, who is likely to rejoin the big league club when rosters expand, could play more at second base when Scutaro sits.

Bochy reiterated that one veteran he’d like to see play before season’s end is center fielder Angel Pagan, who’s been sidelined since May following hamstring surgery.

***

Reliever Jeremy Affeldt (left groin strain) should start throwing off the mound in a day or so, and Bochy said the lefty could return as soon as Sept. 1.

 

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