Playing Brett Pill at second base?! Sounds desperate and last measure, but for anybody who’s watched the Giants revolving door at second this year, it is pretty desperate and last measure.
No matter if it’s an over-matched Charlie Culberson or an incapable Emmanuel Burriss, the Giants are nothing short of awful at second base right now. Relying on Freddy Sanchez? Good luck with that. I’ve heard during his rehab he’s been studying to get his real estate license to sell bridges. In short, the Giants have nobody on their roster (outside of Arias, who can play second when Sandoval returns) who can play the position at a Major League level, so why not try out Brett Pill? Would the results be that bad?
Granted, I’m no fan of playing players out of position – in fact, I mildly hate it, but when push comes to shove, sometimes you have to make a move. Thankfully for the Giants, Pill does have some experience at second base, playing a handful of Spring games there along with playing 57 games there last season at AAA Fresno. It’s a small sample size and certainly not his most comfortable position, but he’s no virgin to the prospect either.
His .977 fielding percentage during those 57 games isn’t exactly anything to be proud of, but it’s not that awful either considering his counterpart in Emmanuel Burriss has a career .962 percentage in 86 career minor league games at second (Burriss’ Major League fielding percentage at 2nd is .976).
Moving Pill to second also forces Bochy to stop the silly platoon he’s come to love at first, where he alternates Pill and Brandon Belt depending on matchups, the move all but making it impossible for either player to get consistent playing time or find a hot streak with the sporadic playing time. Having both in the lineup does weaken the bench, but it also gives the starting lineup a bit more solidity as well.
It reeks of desperation, no doubt, and growing pains there will be. But at worst, it’s only for a short amount of time until Sandoval returns in a month’s time and frankly, can it be any worse then what we’ve already seen? Hard to imagine that.
I’m not one who usually advocates such a move, but I can’t watch the disaster of what’s become at second base this season. Be it Culberson, Theriot or Burriss, none of the three provide the Giants with anything they need, their average (at best) defenses only bested by their even worse offense.
As circus tent as some of Bochy’s other position swaps/lineup cards can be, this doesn’t seem all that oddball, amazingly. Which scares me even more…