SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Nate Schierholtz has missed blips oftime with forearm and hip injuries. He is still trying to find his timing atthe plate. His spring has been nondescript, to put it charitably.
And his everyday job in right field is not safe.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he talked with Schierholtz beforeFridays game, explaining that the coaching staff needed to see more from theathletic right fielder.
Its all about production in this game, said Bochy, afterBrett Pills home run in the ninth inning of a 4-1 loss to the Texas Rangersrescued the Giants from being shut out on consecutive nights.
Last year, we had a difficult time putting runs on theboard. We have to put the players out there who put runs on the board. Weve gottentwo games and almost no runs. Thats not going to work. Weve got to put ourbest team out there, our best offense. And that never stops.
The Giants could shuffle their outfield and move MelkyCabrera to right field, opening up a spot to play Brandon Belt in left. OrAubrey Huff could play left and Belt, a superior defensive first baseman, couldget the chance to settle into an everyday role there.
Management also must react to outfielder Gregor Blanco,whose speed and dynamic game appear to be a good match for a team that plans tohustle to manufacture runs.
Bochy acknowledged that too much can be made of springtraining, and that some players with longer track records can be allowed to justget ready for the season, as they say. But Bochy also made it clear thatSchierholtz hasnt reached that station in the game.
You get six or seven years in and youre a professional,frontline player, sure, youve earned that, Bochy said. Other players, sure,youre always competing for a job.
Schierholtz was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts and a groundout, dropping his average to .216. He has a .237 on-base percentage and hasnthit a home run in 37 at-bats.