Giants could find right-handed bat, platoon Joe Panik at second base


Giants could find right-handed bat, platoon Joe Panik at second base

LAS VEGAS -- Over the past two days, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has spent more than an hour meeting with reporters in his suite at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The word "platoon" has come up over and over again.

There certainly are players the Giants hope to have out there just about every day, but at some spots, Zaidi plans to take advantage of the matchups. That might be a case at second base, where the Giants brought Joe Panik back on a one-year deal but still could bolster their infield depth.

Zaidi said Panik could have a right-handed-hitting partner at times, although he pointed out that the veteran still will see the lion's share of the playing time. 

"I think with a guy like Joe Panik, who does hit right-handed pitching better than left-handed pitching -- although he has hit lefties in the past -- we kind of look at it as a way to strategically plan his days off (more) than necessarily a straight platoon," Zaidi said Tuesday at the MLB Winter Meetings.

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Panik hit .282 against right-handed pitchers last season but just .191 against lefties, with two extra-base hits -- including, to be fair, a homer off Clayton Kershaw -- in 110 at-bats. There have been times in his career when Panik has fared well against lefties, but overall he has a .665 OPS against them, compared to a .760 OPS against righties.

If the Giants were to limit Panik's time against tough lefties, they would need to bring in help. They like Abiatal Avelino, who hits from the right side, but anticipate him getting more seasoning in Triple-A.

"A lot of it is going to depend on how we fill out the bench, but there are a few different guys on this team where I do see platooning as an option," Zaidi said. "Platooning doesn't mean you're a left-handed hitter who never plays against left-handed pitching, but maybe for a guy whose workload you're trying to manage, who you are trying to have be a 120- or 140-game player, when he gets those days off you strategically plan around a left-handed pitcher."

Rockies vs. Giants lineups: Red-hot Alex Dickerson batting second

Rockies vs. Giants lineups: Red-hot Alex Dickerson batting second

Giants fans at Oracle Park on Monday night will get an early look at Alex Dickerson.

As the team returns to San Francisco from a seven-game road trip, Dickerson will be batting second in the lineup against Jon Gray and the Colorado Rockies.

Dickerson joined the Giants on Friday in Arizona and went 5-for-12 with four extra-base hits and nine RBI in the three-game series. He batted seventh in all three games.

Giants starter Drew Pomeranz takes his 7.09 ERA to the mound and will look to bounce back from a rough outing in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

First pitch for Rockies-Giants is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. PT, with pregame coverage beginning at 6 p.m. You can follow all the action on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming online and on the MyTeams app.

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Here are the full Rockies-Giants lineups:

Colorado Rockies (40-37)
1. Charlie Blackmon (L) RF
2. David Dahl (L) CF
3. Nolan Arenado (R) 3B
4. Daniel Murphy (L) 1B
5. Ryan McMahon (L) 2B
6. Raimel Tapia (L) LF
7. Pat Valaika (R) SS
8. Tony Wolters (L) C
9. Jon Gray (R) P (7-5, 4.18)

San Francisco Giants (33-43)
1. Mike Yastrzemski (L) RF
2. Alex Dickerson (L) LF
3. Buster Posey (R) C
4. Pablo Sandoval (S) 1B
5. Kevin Pillar (R) CF
6. Evan Longoria (R) 3B
7. Joe Panik (L) 2B
8. Donovan Solano (R) SS
9. Drew Pomeranz (R) P (2-7, 7.09 ERA)

Shaun Anderson 'wanted that seventh' in Giants' 3-2 loss to D-backs

Shaun Anderson 'wanted that seventh' in Giants' 3-2 loss to D-backs

Giants starter Shaun Anderson needed just 81 pitches to get through six innings Sunday against the Diamondbacks.

With the game in the balance and the pitcher's spot due up fourth in the top of the seventh, no one would have blamed Bruce Bochy for pinch-hitting for Anderson. But the Giants skipper let the rookie hit for himself and sent Anderson back out to start the bottom of the seventh.

"He got better as he went [along], and he was better early today," Bochy told reporters after the Giants' 3-2 extra-innings loss in Arizona. "The kid did a real nice job. That's why I let him hit there with two outs, nobody on. He was throwing the ball really well, did a great job in this ballpark."

Eduardo Escobar led off with a single, and Christian Walker followed with a ground-rule double. At that point, Bochy knew it was time to take out Anderson.

"You love his makeup, the way he battles out there -- he keeps his poise," Bochy said of Anderson. "I said earlier, he's got the strength and stamina you like from a starter. He maintains his stuff deep in the game."

Anderson was attempting to get through seven innings for just the second time in his young career. Instead, he went six-plus innings, allowing five hits and two earned runs, walking one and striking out two on 93 pitches.

"I felt great," Anderson told reporters. "We were going to attack Escobar. He got a hit. And I felt good about facing Walker, too. I was going to get a ground-ball double play, and and he ended up getting a hit. But overall, I felt great. I wanted that seventh."

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Anderson appreciated the faith Bochy showed in him to try to get through the seventh inning of a tie game.

"I hope I can continue to bring that confidence for him, and he can continue to have me roll out there for the seventh," Anderson said. "I wanted that seventh. He and I both knew that."