The outfield is not Bruce Bochy's primary concern
LOS ANGELES – And so it goes for the defending World Series champions.
On the day they get Pablo Sandoval back in their lineup, the Giants learned that they would be without Angel Pagan until September. The center fielder and leadoff man will undergo surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn tendon in his left hamstring just above the knee.
Pagan will be out 10 to 12 weeks, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
This outcome was not a surprise. Pagan had leaned toward surgery even before he had a setback last Thursday in a rehab game for Single-A San Jose, when he aggravated the injury running to first base and had to be carted off the field at Stockton.
He had a second opinion with Dodgers orthopedist Dr. Neal El Attrache, who will perform the surgery at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles.
Bochy said the club’s plan was to stick with its current personnel in center field, with Gregor Blanco getting the bulk of the time. Blanco is batting leadoff Monday even though the Dodgers have a left-hander, Hyun-Jin Ryu, on the mound.
Andres Torres and Juan Perez will continue to get playing time in the outfield as well, Bochy said. There haven’t been any conversations about bringing up another outfielder, such as Roger Kieschnick or Gary Brown, who is suddenly hot and has seven home runs over a 14-game hitting streak at Triple-A Fresno.
“We’ll keep going like we’ve been going,” Bochy said. “I like the way Gregor has been playing. He’s doing a great job. We’ll try to match it up with Torres and Perez, too. … You’ve heard me say this: We have to get other guys to step up and soften the blow when we lose these regulars.”
Blanco is making it pillow-soft for now. He is batting .500 (14 for 28) over his past seven games and his .374 average in June ranks as the fourth highest in the NL this month.
Pagan might be the fourth best defender of the bunch, too.
But the Giants will miss his presence atop the lineup. It was no small feat that Pagan scored 95 runs last season for a team that hit the fewest home runs in the major leagues. It means he stole his way into scoring position, scored from first on doubles, scored from second on singles – and those club-record 15 triples helped, too.
“He’s the guy who led off all the way through to the World Series,” Bochy said. “He played a significant role.”
If Pagan could return in 10 weeks, he’d be ready shortly after rosters expand Sept. 1.