SAN FRANCISCO -- Bruce Bochy rarely changes a lineup once it's posted in the clubhouse, but he hoped to on Monday night. Bochy was keeping open the possibility that Hunter Pence could slide into right field after taking BP, but Pence ended up taking just a couple of swings.
Pence was confident after having an MRI in the morning, but after a bunt and two light swings in the cage, he walked out and talked to trainer Dave Groeschner. Pence then walked back to the clubhouse. An hour earlier, Pence told reporters that the MRI showed just a very mild strain.
"I'm doing well, I'm feeling great," Pence said. "It's gotten a lot better."
Bochy, during his pre-game media session, said his guess was that Pence wouldn't play, but it was possible, and the Giants hoped to get him back Tuesday. That might be a long shot at this point, and it's hard to believe Pence is actually on the list to pinch-hit as the Giants have insisted. Pence's strain is right behind his right knee. He said he first felt it during a slide last Sunday in Phoenix and again when he beat out that grounder to the mound in San Diego.
--- Sergio Romo will throw an inning for Triple-A Sacramento tonight, and then pitch again Wednesday and Friday. After that, he goes back-to-back on Sunday and Monday. If all goes well, Romo will join the Giants in Atlanta next week and be activated.
--- Joe Panik is fine. He's just getting a day off, and Bochy wanted to keep Kelby Tomlinson in the mix. Tomlinson has been one of the hotter Giants hitters of late.
"He's playing so well and he finds a way to get on base and score runs," Bochy said. "He's really adapted to this role."
--- The Padres have shifted Matt Duffy as aggressively as you can. Matt Kemp plays over on the line in right and the center fielder shifts over toward right field, with the left fielder playing a bit over toward center. That leaves huge gaps down the left field line and right up the middle of the field, and Duffy has noticed. He would love to be in a spot right now where he could play those gaps and run for a triple or more, but he's 8-for-his-last-49.
"It's frustrating, especially with Kemp making a couple of plays on me in the corner that could have gone for extra bases," Duffy said. "I think I have good enough bat control to make the adjustment if they want to keep playing me that way. I have to adjust."
The good news: Duffy knows what's wrong with his swing, and he's working to fix the small mechanical bug. It's an interesting little race at the moment. If Duffy can get back to his old self in the next three days, there's a lot of real estate out there against this Padres alignment. They won't shift back until he proves it, though.