SAN DIEGO -- As Joe Panik got his gear on Friday afternoon, Duane Kuiper walked by and cracked, "Good luck, Little Brock." The Giants don't need their leadoff hitter for the day to do a Lou Brock impersonation. Bruce Bochy is simply looking for one additional quality at-bat.
"He's swinging the bat well," Bochy said. "This is all really about, if you're going to give someone an extra at-bat, the way Joe is swinging, give it to him."
Panik is 5-for-13 with a double and triple through four games. Bochy was short on top-of-the-order choices because Denard Span is still nursing a sore hip and Buster Posey and Hunter Pence got scheduled rest days. Panik has hit first just once since high school: August 4, 2011, when he was a shortstop named Joseph in rookie ball.
"I'm not going to change my approach," Panik said. "Same attitude, same approach. I don't think they expect me to steal three bags today."
Aaron Hill, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford and Nick Hundley make up the rest of the top five. Eduardo Nunez, a potential leadoff option, is hitting sixth again.
"I talked to Nuney," Bochy said. "He likes it there. I like him there. It's a mutual deal and he's had some success there."
--- Span took BP and ran sprints, and he hopes to be available off the bench tonight. He looked normal.
--- Steven Okert is back, replacing Hunter Strickland, who is on the paternity list. Okert would have made the team after a strong spring but the Giants didn't want to lose Neil Ramirez. Okert took it in stride.
"I knew the situation," Okert said. "I knew this was a possibility, being out of options. It's out of my control."
--- The Padres placed former Giant Hector Sanchez on the 7-day concussion DL. Sanchez had a really bad concussion when he was with the Giants, and a bunch of other small things. Hopefully this isn't the end for a guy who really loves to play the game.
--- Madison Bumgarner taking aim at the scoreboard during BP is nothing new. He missed by about 15 feet, and cracked, "I'm cutting down on my swing." What was new, at least for me, was seeing Dave Righetti and Phil Nevin stop along the third base line to watch him finish up. The Bumgarner thing isn't just a joy for fans to watch. Players and coaches continue to be amazed, too.