Grant also brings up a really good point about the 2011 Giants and the decisions to (1) re-sign Aubrey Huff and (2) keep Brandon Belt up in the majors.
"What if that guy who was given $22M on the assumption that he can play the outfield...can’t actually play the outfield at all?Now, yesterday was just a bad game for Huff. I guarantee Jose Guillen would have made maybe one of the 37 balls hit to Huff yesterday look easier than it did, but its certainly not like the Giants are experimenting with Doug Mirabelli out in right field.
However, the Giants were supposed to be a better team with Belt at first base. Again, that's Belt, at first base. Not with Huff in the outfield. I'm not saying that Huff's contract is now expendable, because it's not. His leadership in the clubhouse last year was a huge part of the Giants push to the World Series.
But with Belt at first, and looking very good there, Huff is relegated to the outfield. And over the first couple days of the season, it looks like the Water Buffalo Defense is sickly and old, about to get pounced on by a cheetah or some other big predator that preys on position players playing out of position.
In any event, something has to be done. Which is where Andrew Baggarly comes in.
Move Huff to left field. Start Nate Schierholtz in right. And use Burrell off the bench.Ta-da! Problem solved!
Burrell has two hits this year. Granted, they've both been homeruns that have brought the Giants within striking distance, but that's two hits in 18 at-bats. Two hits, one walk, and five strikeouts. Those are 2010 playoff numbers.
It looks like that whole thing that I wrote, about how Burrell's success depends on him being able to drive the ball the other way like he did in Spring Training, isn't panning out so far. He's been pulling his head off the ball again, and those pitches he was driving to the right-center gap in March are just being popped up or rolled over.
Give the guy a day off. And with Nate Schierholtz in right, Andres Torres can even shade over to help out Huff in left a little bit. Because Aubrey Huff is not an above-average outfielder in any of the outfielder aspects except for in the batters box.
With Burrell's bat being as quiet as it has been, Huff still needs to play somewhere. Since Cody Ross will be coming back to play right field soon, the Giants should put Huff in left and have Schierholtz in right.
Bruce Bochy has been able to make things work on the offensive side of the ball so far, but you can tell that he's really frustrated with the defense. And if the Giants can score 10 runs with the Rowand/Tejada lineup, I'm pretty sure Bochy will do his thing and put his best (or at least better) defense on the field.