San Francisco Giants Manager Bruce Bochy wasted no time when he announced that Mac Williamson is going to be the starting left fielder.
This is not surprising news. It is clear that Bochy wanted to define Williamson’s role as he returns from a concussion injury. However, this does present some questions for Hunter Pence‘s future.
Obviously, the Giants will likely not cut ties with Pence. Despite Pence’s struggles earlier this season, the Giants will still find a role for him. As of now, it looks as if Pence will return in a part-time role when he is ready.
Despite his struggles, Pence is tinkering with new swing mechanics. He has closed his stance, and he is holding his hands lower. This is similar to the changes Williamson made in the offseason. Though, the mechanics look similar, Pence’s new swing still has his vintage awkwardness as well.
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For the time being, Williamson will be the starting left fielder — this is good news. It gives clarity for what Williamson’s role is going to be going forward. He is not exactly a spring chicken. It is good for his confidence to know that he will be the starter in left field.
In his very brief stint earlier this season, Williamson appeared to change the dynamic of the lineup. His presence provided depth. In addition to this, he represents a power threat that pitchers must plan for in the lower part of the lineup.
On the year, Williamson is batting .235 with a .778 OPS with 3 home runs. He hit these home runs in just five games. Only Gorkys Hernandez has hit more home runs of the outfielders on the Giants roster.
As a power threat batting lower in the lineup, this will be excellent for his development. He knows he will be getting ample playing time. Additionally, he is a power hitter, and he can focus on being just that.
The Giants lineup is good enough as is. The addition of Williamson adds a legitimate power threat back to the lineup. He is not in a position where he needs to save this lineup.
Williamson is going to be the starter; however, a team’s roster is constantly changing and evolving. He is the starter today, and if he continues to hit like he did earlier this season, he will be for the foreseeable future.
Ultimately, Williamson is going to get an opportunity to prove what he can do on the field. If he remains healthy, he will be an asset with both the glove and the bat.