With the series heading to Detroit, the San Francisco Giants had a new decision to make regarding their lineup. After playing against the Cincinnati Reds in the NLDS and the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS, going on the road to face the Detroit Tigers in Game 3 of the World Series means that the Giants will have the option of using a designated hitter. While the Giants' starting pitchers have actually come up big for the team this postseason with many clutch hits and picking up a couple RBIs, the designated hitter position gives the team a chance to insert another position player into the lineup.
In what can be viewed as another interesting decision by manager Bruce Bochy, he is leaning towards using backup switch-hitting catcher Hector Sanchez as the designated hitter in Game 3 of the World Series against Tigers pitcher Anibal Sanchez. Since he is the team's only backup catcher on the roster, this move could backfire if Buster Posey had to leave the game, meaning the Giants would move him to the backstop and lead to the forfeiture of the designated hitter position. According to MLB rules, the pitcher would then have to bat in place of the substituted defensive player, which could be a problem later in the game in terms of depth on the bench.
With right-handers hitting .291 against Anibal Sanchez as opposed to a .243 average for left-handers, there are other options for this role. Aside from Aubrey Huff, the rest of the Giants bench features right-handed hitters: Joaquin Arias, Xavier Nady, and Ryan Theriot. While Arias at third base and Pablo Sandoval at designated hitter would give the Giants a better defensive lineup for the entire game, Hector Sanchez gives the team another aggressive and sometimes-effective batter in the lineup.
Looking forward to Game 4 and Game 5, if necessary, the Giants choice of Hector Sanchez could only be temporary depending on how well he performs as a postseason starter for the first time since October 18 against the Cardinals. If he pans out, he could get the nod against Max Scherzer in Game 4. If not, Huff and his 1-for-2 lifetime against Scherzer could see his first non-pinch hit action of the postseason, which is a daunting thought given his lack of mobility on the base paths.
Sanchez expected to DH in Game 3, CSN Bay Area
Rules, Regulations and Statistics, MLB.com
Hector Sanchez will play in Game 3 - Giants' DH situation gets clearer, Bay Area Sports Guy
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Austin Chang is a lifelong San Francisco Bay Area native, baseball fan, and supporter of the San Francisco Giants. Follow this Featured Contributor on Twitter @_austinchang.
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