Duffy’s destined to bat higher in order
Thursday, June 18
SEATTLE — Matt Duffy has mostly occupied the lower rungs of the Giants’ batting order. That’s expected to change immediately.
Duffy’s sustained hitting surge, contrasting with the Giants’ sputtering offense, has prompted manager Bruce Bochy to consider elevating the rookie third baseman to a more prominent spot in the order. That could happen as soon as Thursday night, when the Giants play their Interleague series finale against the Seattle Mariners.
Bochy was asked after Wednesday night’s 2-0 loss to Seattle whether Duffy, who had two of San Francisco’s four hits, would ascend in the order. “Oh, he’ll get moved up. Trust me,” Bochy said. Heretofore, Duffy has batted seventh or eighth in 31 of 44 starts.
Bochy appreciates Duffy’s determined, polished approach at the plate, as well as his production. While the Giants batted .196 (30-for-153) and scored nine runs in their recent 1-4 homestand, Duffy hit .357 (5-for-14) during the same stretch. His pair of singles Wednesday off Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez lifted his overall batting average to .294.
“I just love the way he puts his nose in there and fights you every pitch,” Bochy said.
Oddly, the right-handed-batting Duffy has struggled against left-handers, who have limited him to a .204 (10-for-49) average. He’ll receive an immediate test Thursday against Seattle southpaw Mike Montgomery.
“He hasn’t quite handled them as well,” Bochy said. “But he will with more experience.”
— Chris Haft