October 29, 2010
SAN FRANCISCO — The World Series is picking up and moving to Texas. With the migration comes a home crowd for the Texas Rangers, a new set of rules that are beneficial to getting Vladimir Guerrero(notes) at-bats and another chance for San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy to extend his stellar set of moves this postseason.
Bochy said after Thursday's Game 2 that he's going to huddle with his team on the flight to Dallas-Fort Worth to decide what they're going to do with the designated hitter spot. It's uncertain if Bochy will announce their findings at the media sessions later Friday, but he's already highlighted his main three options: Pat Burrell(notes), Pablo Sandoval(notes) and Aubrey Huff(notes).
FRIDAY NIGHT UPDATE: To DH, Bochy picked the giantest Giant of them all: Kung Fu Panda.
Pat Burrell .171 (6-for-35), 1 HR, 4 RBIs — 2010 postseason
Tabbing Burrell as the DH would pull him out of left field and probably lead to a more defensive lineup that would allow Cody Ross(notes) to slide into Burrell's LF spot and defensive wiz Nate Schierholtz(notes) to patrol right field. Burrell hasn't exactly gotten off to a hot start in the World Series, though, striking out four times and walking twice in seven plate appearances. Would Bochy take away the dual offense-defense roles that Burrell has said is a key to his success?
Pablo Sandoval .214 (3-for-14), 0 HR, 2 RBIs
Kung Fu Panda has yet to see any playing time this World Series and I'm guessing we'll see him in at least one of the three games in Texas. He came up big for the Giants in Game 4 of the NLCS and you have to figure Bochy will try to go to that well for some added punch. Sandoval's main obstacle to at-bats, though, is that the Giants aren't solving a defensive problem by DHing him. He's already sitting on the bench and there are two other players on the field — Burrell and Huff — that could stand to have their gloves hidden.
Aubrey Huff .283 (13-for-46) 0 HR, 6 RBIs
Huff has been a defensive liability for the Giants at first base and it has to be tempting for Bochy to let him work his red rally thong magic from a hitting-only standpoint. Play Huff at DH and Travis Ishikawa(notes) gets a shot at his first World series start.
Obviously, this isn't as easy of a decision as Ron Washington's slam-dunk choice of Guerrero in the DH spot. Which way do you think Bochy will — or should — go?