WASHINGTON – The Giants have lost 12 of their last 16 games against left-handed starters, and one of the biggest reasons could be their struggles atop the lineup.
Last year, Angel Pagan provided switch-hitting continuity atop the lineup. And No. 2 batter Marco Scutaro hit everything in sight.
Scutaro hasn’t been healthy all season, and more back stiffness forced him to be scratched from Tuesday’s lineup at Nationals Park. Joaquin Arias replaced him in the lineup, batting second.
He’s considered day to day, but it’s hard to imagine the 37-year-old being 100 percent the rest of this season.
Pagan still has a chance to show his health, though. He could begin a minor league rehab assignment by the end of this week.
His repaired hamstring tendon continues to improve, and when Giants head athletic trainer stopped in Arizona to visit with him on Monday, Pagan said he no longer felt any pain behind the knee.
He’s likely to begin with the Giants’ affiliate in the rookie-level Arizona League. An assignment can last 20 days, but there isn’t that much time left in the minor league season. So a return shortly after Sept. 1 remains the most likely outcome, as long as he has no setbacks.