Schierholtz might be in leadoff mix

Friday, April 23

SAN FRANCISCO — Fully expecting an answer along the lines of, “Are you kidding?”, I asked manager Bruce Bochy before Friday’s game if he has considered trying Nate Schierholtz as a leadoff hitter during Aaron Rowand’s stay on the disabled list.

Somewhat surprisingly, Bochy said that he has indeed thought about batting Schierholtz leadoff. After San Francisco’s 4-1 victory Friday over the St. Louis Cardinals, Bochy dropped no hints regarding who would lead off Saturday against right-hander Adam Wainwright, St. Louis’ co-ace. Don’t be surprised if it’s Schierholtz, whose playing time in right field has increased lately (though that’s partly due to Rowand’s absence).

The case for Schierholtz:

– He’s hitting .320, and his on-base percentage is .414. Schierholtz has drawn three walks in 30 plate appearances, which isn’t much. But it’s a heck of an improvement over his career ratio. Entering this season, Schierholtz had walked 21 times in 506 plate appearances.

– He’s fast.

– Eugenio Velez, who has been leading off against right-handers since Rowand went on the DL, is in a 1-for-16 skid.

– It’s fair to say that Bochy is reluctant to use Andres Torres, Friday’s leadoff man, against right-handers. Torres, a switch-hitter, batted .210 off righties last year and is 0-for-8 against them this season.

Schierholtz has never started a game at leadoff during his Major League career. But there’s a first time for everything.

– Chris Haft

1 Comment

Actually, 3 walks in 10 PA is actually OK, that is 10%. That would give a poor hitter an average OBP and a good hitter a great OBP.

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