Angel Pagan has made all 35 of his starts this season batting out of the leadoff spot. But with Hunter Pence back, and the Giants facing a left-hander Wednesday, Pagan is returning to the leadoff spot he manned most of last season.
Manager Bruce Bochy indicated this could be a regular look against left-handers. So far, it has mostly been Nori Aoki leading off, but with Justin Maxwell more likely to be in left field against left-handed pitching, Pagan could see more starts in the leadoff spot.
“That’s a pretty good option for us,” Bochy said of Pagan, who batted .304 in the leadoff spot last year. “Against a left-hander, I wanted to get Maxwell out there, keep him going. It just made all the sense.”
Bochy said he hasn’t considered moving Pagan back to leadoff full time. Aoki will still play left field against right-handers, and it sounds as if he’ll continue to lead off in those games.
Pagan has said he prefers to hit leadoff but has appeared comfortable in the No. 3 spot – he’s batting .329 and in Bochy’s eyes has taken the same approach as when he bats first.
“He wasn’t trying to hit the ball out of the ballpark, add power,” Bochy said, “which is what a guy may do when he goes to the No. 3 or 4 hole.”
The Giants lineup against Dodgers starter Brett Anderson:
The Dodgers’ lineup against Tim Lincecum:
▪ Jake Peavy (lower back strain) is going to make a rehab start with High-A San Jose on Friday, Bochy said. Asked how many times Peavy might pitch in the minors, Bochy said the Giants will see how he comes out of Friday’s start and “make a determination after he pitches there.”
▪ The Giants have a doubleheader Saturday in Colorado, for which they’ll be able to add a 26th player. Bochy said they’re leaning toward bringing up an extra reliever rather than another starter, which would indicate Yusmeiro Petit as a likely starter of one of the games.
▪ The Giants’ 2-0 win Tuesday night was their fifth shutout in May, all at AT&T Park, which marks the fifth time in the San Francisco era they’ve posted five or more home shutouts in one month (also May 1960, August 1968, July 2009, June 2012).
▪ Lincecum goes into his start needing three strikeouts to tie Carl Hubbell for fourth on the Giants’ career strikeout list.