The Giants have been up and down this season battling a devastating injury bug. Going into Saturday's slate of games, they're 34-36, good for fourth in the NL West and 5.5 games back of the D'backs.
One part of their roster they still can't figure out, just like in years past ever since moving on from Barry Bonds, is left field. Brian Sabean, Giants Executive VP of Baseball Operations, called left field a "black hole" Friday on KNBR.
The latest piece to the never-ending puzzle in left field may be placing an infielder in left field not named Brandon Belt.
"Absolutely not afraid in a big moment," Sabean said when asked about the emergence of Alen Hanson. "For us, it might be worth a swing in left field, which we're willing to experiment with."
Hanson has been a big surprise this season after the Giants signed him in December to a minor-league deal. In 27 games, the switch-hitting 25-year-old is batting .320 with a career-high five home runs. With runners in scoring position, Hanson is batting .333 with two home runs and a 1.137 OPS.
As the Giants lose third baseman Evan Longoria to a fractured left hand, the plan is to use Pablo Sandoval and Hanson at third base. But Hanson has the speed for outfield and has played 20 games in right field and 10 in left over his three-year career in the majors. This season with the Giants, he has played three innings in left field.
The Giants have struggled yet again in left field this season. Hunter Pence is batting below the Mendoza Line at .188 in 28 games and Mac Williamson hasn't recovered well at the plate since his concussion.
After dominating Triple-A, Williamson came up and exploded for three home runs in five games in April. Williamson collided with a wall on April 24 and hasn't been the same since. He is now batting .240 on the year with four home runs. In June, Williamson is batting .182.
With no one team taking full control of the NL West, the Giants know they need to find any ways of getting their best bats in the lineup, even if that means giving Hanson a bigger glove.