San Francisco Giants: Hunter Pence vs. Mac Williamson
Many people, and rightfully so, are calling for Mac Williamson to keep his role as starting left fielder for the San Francisco Giants when Hunter Pence returns from the D.L.
UPDATE: Mac Willimson has now been placed on the concussion DL, but could be available to come back as soon as May 2.
Really, this decision is a no-brainer. Mac Williamson has undoubtedly been a shot in the arm to a sluggish offense since he got called up from Sacramento. Meanwhile, Hunter Pence has struggled and thus far confirmed fears that were aroused by last year’s struggles.
For the time being, Williamson has to continue to get the majority of the starts in left for the San Francisco Giants. Just like Jim Harbaugh said all those decades ago when Alex Smith was no longer concussed but Colin Kaepernick was leading the 49ers to victories — we’re gonna ride the hot hand.
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It’s not as if Williamson in left has to be permanent either. If he cools off or gets banged up then you still have a guy on the bench who you know is just a swing tweak away from being a solid contributor again.
The idea that Pence deserves his starting spot is a completely fair one to consider. We don’t need to detail why Hunter Pence is a great Giant and why he means so much to this franchise. Many a veteran in his position would be given their starting gig right back coming off an injury. It would be easy to selfishly want to start no matter the struggles.
However, above all, Pence is a team player. That’s the reason why he was psyched when the Giants acquired Andrew McCutchen and was more than happy to move to left and abandon a position that he’s known for most of his career to accommodate that move.
Deep down Pence has to know that for right now Mac in the lineup is what’s best for the team. Understandably, it’ll kill him inside to not be able to contribute to the team as much as he knows he could. But you won’t get a cross word out of him.
That’s not a given with most players, mind you. A three-time All-Star who was an instrumental part of two World Series titles getting benched for a still relatively unproven 27 year old would elicit a tacit response of disappointment or anger from most in Pence’s position.
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Yet we won’t hear anything of that ilk from Hunter. No pouting or moaning from the Reverend. While it may hurt right now, and it definitely hurts me seeing my favorite player struggling, he knows in the long run it will pay off. Plus, he’s just an injury away from getting the chance to prove that he’s still got it. Fingers crossed that he does indeed still have it.