With Hunter Pence sidelined because of a mild abdominal strain, the Giants on Thursday traded for veteran outfielder Marlon Byrd. He joined the team Friday in Pittsburgh and ostensibly will play left field until Pence returns. Offensively, Byrd brings a different dynamic than the Giants have received from their left fielders, primarily Nori Aoki, this year. Byrd is less of an on-base guy but has more power. Here’s how his season stats compare to those of Giants left fielders:
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Byrd will be the Giants’ eighth left fielder this season. They used seven left fielders last season and nine in 2013, when their complement included such names as Brett Pill, Roger Kieschnick, Francisco Peguero and Kensuke Tanaka.
The Giants are the ninth major-league team for Byrd, who turns 38 on Aug. 30. He has a career .275/.330/.429 slash line with 150 homers in 1,500 games. Against left-handers, his career line is .287/.338/.464. When Pence returns, the Giants intend to use Byrd as a bat off the bench; in 69 pinch-hit at-bats, he has 20 hits with one homer and six RBIs. His .331 average against the Dodgers is his highest against any opponent. Lifetime at AT&T Park, he has batted .216/.263/.420 with four homers – off Barry Zito, Jake Dunning, Mike Kickham and Madison Bumgarner.
Giants right-hander Mike Leake, a former teammate of Byrd’s in Cincinnati, to reporters in Pittsburgh on Thursday: “He’s got some old-man strength in him still.”