More position-player shuffling in store
SAN FRANCISCO — Manager Bruce Bochy sounded like an editor Wednesday when he said that adding catcher Steve Holm to the club will enable the Giants to have “better coverage.”
Bochy meant better coverage at catcher, a position Bengie Molina had manned for every inning of the previous 13 games. The Giants added Holm not just to serve as Molina’s occasional backup while Pablo Sandoval continues to play third base. Holm will enable the Giants to rest Molina in the late innings, sparing the veteran some wear and tear.
And, of course, Bochy still has the option of doing what he did Wednesday: Starting Sandoval behind the plate and inserting capable utilityman Juan Uribe at third. If Bochy had to remove Sandoval for some reason or switch him to another position, Molina could continue to rest, as long as Holm’s around.
Before the Giants could recall Holm, he had to heal a bruised right elbow he sustained when he was hit by a pitch on April 13. Holm rested a few days before playing Saturday and Sunday for Triple-A Fresno.
Most observers figured that the Giants would summon Holm at some point, given their stated desire to keep a three-catcher contingent (including Sandoval). But Holm himself assumed nothing.
“I didn’t know,” Holm said. “You don’t want to get caught up in stuff like that.”
As has been reported, Holm’s arrival shrank the pitching staff to 11, since reliever Alex Hinshaw was optioned to Fresno. But with only four scheduled off-days between May 1 and the All-Star break that begins July 13, San Francisco’s pitchers could be susceptible to fatigue, meaning another move will have to be made.
“My guess is we’ll go back to 12 (pitchers) at some point,” Bochy said.
Once the Giants feel that need, Holm won’t necessarily be the position player who disappears to the Minors. Eugenio Velez or Andres Torres could be vulnerable instead.
– Chris Haft