With the recent news that center fielder Steven Duggar of the San Francisco Giants will likely be lost for the rest of the season due to a shoulder injury, in addition to Andrew McCutchen being dealt to the New York Yankees for prospects, the Giants have some decisions to make.
These decisions mainly pertain to the outfield. With these losses, the San Francisco Giants now have five outfielders on their roster in the form of Austin Slater, Gregor Blanco, Gorkys Hernandez, Chris Shaw, and Hunter Pence.
The question is, who should get the majority of the playing time as the Giants try to finish out a season in which they will most likely miss out on the playoffs? There are those who think it would be wise for Chris Shaw to get lots of playing time.
I think that would be a smart move, but above all else, I think it’s important to put Hunter Pence back where he belongs in right field.
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Would this move be done purely out of nostalgia? Yes. But that’s never stopped the Giants from doing something before! It’s becoming increasingly likely that Pence’s days in a Giants uniform are numbered.
With this knowledge in mind, as well as the fact that Pence is one of the most beloved Giants in recent memory, Pence should get his fair share of playing time out in right. I want to be able to see him bust his rear end down the line on a routine ground ball as many more times as I can before it’s too late.
Playing Pence regularly wouldn’t take time away from someone like Shaw either. Hernandez will most likely be the starting center fielder from now on, so the Giants could either platoon Shaw and Slater out in left, or if they feel like it, just let Shaw be the starter to see what he can do.
The Giants have seen enough of Slater to know what they have in him. He’s a line drive hitter who is good at taking the ball to right. Additional at-bats would be good experience for Slater, but at this point I think the Giants should try to ensure that they don’t lose any more young outfield talent to injury.
There’s less than a month of San Francisco Giants baseball left, and I intend to see as much of Hunter Pence on the field as possible.
This may very well be me succumbing to the nostalgia craves that we’ve grown accustomed to as Giants fans, but I don’t care. The heart wants what the heart wants.