Pat Burrell has made it plenty clear throughout his time in the big leagues that the bench is no place for the Machine’s ass to sit.
In his short periods on the bench in Philadelphia, he complained. In Tampa Bay, he complained. And in San Francisco, well, he hasn’t technically complained – but it might be getting to that point:
"Bochy says Burrell will start tomorrow. Bochy talked to the OFs yesterday. Got the sense from Boch Burrell not thrilled with bench role.Schulman"
It’s a tangled web, really. The Giants are stuck with too many skilled outfielders, it’s just that those outfielders seem to be highly skilled in one area and not so much in the next. One might say the Giants are full of one dimensional outfielders and Pat fits that mold as well as anybody.
Pat’s a serious power threat (at least, considering this current roster) and he’ll give you a professional at-bat nearly every time he steps to the dish. But, despite those professional at-bat’s, he’s still only hitting .232 and could only top out at .266 last season after he came to the Giants, despite the solid OBP%.
In the outfield, Pat’s a liability. We’re all aware of that. He tries, but, nobody is going to confuse his glove or arm with that of say, a Nate Schierholtz. So what do you do?
Unfortunately, Pat might be the only guy that’s unaware that he’s more of a platoon guy. That certainly doesn’t mean the Giants don’t need him, but rather than complain about his bench role as he’s notoriously done throughout his career, embrace it. He’s one of the few guys on the squad who can work a count – he has some of the best power on the team – and he’s generally a great clubhouse guy. The Giants need him just as much as he needs the Giants, so here’s to hoping Pat can run with the platoon role.