Bruce Bochy has played Aubrey Huff at second base.
He’s had Brett Pill play third base.
If Nate Schierholtz had gotten at hit Tuesday night, he would have been looking at playing Hector Sanchez at third base.
And now, Bochy is having Emmanuel Burriss hitting ninth in the batting order, behind Madison Bumgarner.
Bochy tried to spin the move in his pre-game comments.
“I’ve done this once before,” Bochy said. “The way it’s set up, I did put Madison in the eighth spot. It gives you two leadoff hitters, like Tony (La Russa) talked about that.”
What?!? Two leadoff hitters?!? In what world would Bochy, or anyone, think about having Burriss bat leadoff?
“It’s not something I plan to do on a consistent basis,” Bochy continued. “But against a left-hander, Manny can play his game, which is speed, from the ninth spot.”
Um, yeah, right.
And if you believe that, Bochy might have a bridge he’d like to sell you.
Bochy is doing this move for one pure and simple reason: Against left-handed pitching, Bumgarner is a better hitter.
Burriss this season vs. left-handed pitching is 0 for 11 with one walk and one sacrifice.
It’s probably why he tried to bunt with two on and two out in the sixth inning against LHP Christian Friedrich on Tuesday.
He’s a career .260 hitter against LHP. But last season, he was .143 vs. LHP in 30 PAs.
Now Burriss suffered two foot injuries in 2009 and 2010. But those injuries would not impact his RH batting. We’re guessing the league has a book on Burriss from the right side, and Burriss hasn’t read it yet.
Meanwhile, Bumgarner is 1 for 12 with double and an RBI vs. left-handed pitching. That double came against Milwaukee’s Randy Wolf on May 5. Over his career, he hits .111 vs. lefties (3 for 27).
It’s just another sign that Burriss’ tenure with the Giants may soon be coming to an end.
The first sign came when the Giants called up a second baseman from Fresno in Charlie Culberson.
If Freddy Sanchez can ever get healthy, the Giants may be willing to part with Burriss. The Giants liked Burriss for his versatility on defense. But Joaquin Arias has shown he can fill that road … and hit.
And that’s the ONLY reason Bochy drew up the lineup this way … because Arias needs one more day to recover from a bruised forearm after being hit by a pitch.
Emmanuel Burriss showed off his versatility again Wednesday by getting the start in right field for ailing Nate Schierholtz.
But after getting a walk in two plate appearances, Burriss made a quick exit after three innings, which was curious.
As it turns out, Burriss felt a tweak in his hamstring and decided to let trainers know. Then the decision was made to remove him.
“I’ve got a good thing going,” Burriss told CSNBayArea.com. “Might as well speak up if you don’t feel right. I’ve played a lot of innings. It’s nothing serious at all.”
Burriss, who is hitting .417 this spring, likely will sit out a couple of games, which works out OK for the Giants. Look for Ryan Theriot to get starts at 2B the next couple of days.
Theriot played in a minor-league game Wednesday as he tried to find the timing in his bat. The Giants need to make a call by next Thursday on whether or not to keep Theriot. Henry Schulman of the SF Chronicle had a nice story about Theriot’s situation. To read it, click here.
- LF Brett Pill, who has been quiet lately, made some noise with a three-run home run in the fourth. Just as noteworthy, he took his first walk of the spring.
- DH Buster Posey went 2 for 4, raising his spring average to .294.
- C Chris Stewart went 1 for 2 with a walk. He also gunned down Asdrubel Cabrera trying to steal second.
- C Hector Sanchez kept swinging the hot bat, going 2 for 2, with a double, bumping his spring average to .480.
- P Eric Surkamp continues to give the Giants confidence that they have some depth in the rotation. Surkamp would be the No. 1 option to fill in if there is an injury or if someone (read: Zito) struggles. He gave up two runs in five innings, both runs scoring on a two-run homer to Shelley Duncan.
Tim Linecum faces Jamie Moyer as the Giants meet the Rockies at 7:10 p.m.
The minor league season if off and running for the affiliates of the San Francisco Giants.
Three Giants prospects in the minors have more stolen bases this season than the entire Giants roster.
Leading the way is infielder Emmanuel Burriss, who has stolen 13 bases in his first nine games with the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies. He’s only be caught once. It’s a good sign for a player who has spent chunks of the past two seasons sidelined by a broken foot.
Burriss went 2 for 3 with two walks in Friday’s 11-7 win for Fresno at Las Vegas, improving the Grizzlies to 6-3 on the short season.
Burriss is hitting .323 with a .447 on-base percentage for Fresno. He’s scored a team-high 11 runs. Burriss is playing second base for Fresno, but can also manage shortstop.
Outfielder Darren Ford, who got called up to the big club Friday to replace the injured Andres Torres, had seven stolen bases in seven attempt in seven games before getting his call. He was hitting .323, a very good sign for a player who struggled with his average at Double-A last season.
And outfielder Gary Brown, a 2010 first-round pick by the Giants, has 10 stolen bases in 12 attempts in nine games with the Class A San Jose Giants. Brown is hitting .308 with a .413 OBP.
The San Francisco Giants have six stolen bases through 13 games this season, and that include two cheapy stolen bags Friday night. With one out in the fifth inning, Aubrey Huff was on second and Buster Posey was on first. Both runners were running on a 3-2 pitch to Pablo Sandoval, who struck out swinging. Huff would have been easily thrown out at third, but Arizona catcher Miguel Montero’s throw sailed into left field. Huff and Posey were both credited with a stolen base, with both advancing an extra bass on the throwing error.
So the speed in the farm system is clearly a good sign of things to come.
Other players of note
TRIPLE-A FRESNO: Not that the Giants need another hot-hitting first baseman, but Brett Pill is leading the Grizzlies in hitting. He has 2 home runs, 9 RBI and a .486 average through nine games. 3B Conor Gillaspie has 1 HR, 11 RBI and is batting .316. P Ryan Vogelsong is 2-0 with 1.59 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 11.1 innings. P Marc Kroon has allowed no earned runs in 4 innings of relief.
DOUBLE-A RICHMOND: 2B Charlie Culberson, who is projected as the heir-apparent to Freddy Sanchez, leads Richmond in hitting through nine games. He is hitting .270, but has 10 strikeouts in 37 at-bats. That’s something that will need to improve. P Justin Fitzgerald is 2-0 with an 0.90 ERA in two starts.
CLASS A SAN JOSE: P Zach Wheeler, a 2009 first-round selection, threw five hitless innings in his first start for the San Jose Giants. Wheeler walked three and struck out three in the outing.
SS Brandon Crawford is expected to miss most or all of April after suffering a broken finger. Crawford was expected to start the season at Triple-A Fresno.
OF Thomas Neal has missed the past week after suffering a bruised foot after being hit by a pitch in Fresno’s second game of the season.
SS Ehire Adrianza is expected to miss a couple of months after suffering torn ligament in his hand during Spring Training.
OF Francisco Peguero had knee surgery and is expected out until late May or early June.