SAN FRANCISCO -- Who will play left field for the Giants in 2014? It's a legitimate question to ask in late August, with San Francisco sitting 18.5 games behind the first-place Dodgers.
Bruce Bochy has penciled eight different names into left field this year.
The home stretch in 2013 will serve as a tryout for the Giants in-house options and allow them to evaluate their standing for next season. Bochy plans to spread playing time over the 36 games amongst Gregor Blanco, Roger Kieschnick, Brett Pill and the newly-promoted Francisco Peguero.
[NEWS: Giants recall Peguero, Noonan]
"We'll take a look at that and get a good idea of what we've got down the stretch," Bochy said.
The manager also mentioned Jeff Francoeur's name, saying that when the team designated the veteran for assignment on Tuesday, Bochy spoke with him about potentially returning to the Giants in 2014.
The left field position has been particularly confounding for the Giants this year. Of all the everyday defensive positions, Giants left fielders have accounted for the most strikeouts and the least home runs.
If no one steps up, the Giants could also go outside the organization to find a new left fielder. Next year's free agent class features top outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo, Carlos Beltran and Nelson Cruz -- though none are true left fielders. Other names that will hit the market include Jason Bay, Mark DeRosa, Mark Ibanez, Nate McLouth, Mike Morse, Grady Sizemore and Delmon Young.
Andres Torres was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday with an injury that he's had since 2011, calling into question whether or not the team knew about the bone spurs in the speedster's left heel when they offered him a one-year, $2 million contract before this season.
Manager Bruce Bochy was aware of a previous heel injury that impacted Torres in the past, but it was not part of the plan when the outfielder told his coaching staff around 1 p.m. on Thursday that the pain in his heel was too much to play, forcing them to replace him on the active roster with Francisco Peguero.
Torres indicated to the media that he has been dealing with up-and-down pain all season, but Bochy said he first learned that Torres was playing through discomfort "a few days ago."
Still, the manger set the record straight in terms of withholding information.
"This isn't a case where we felt he was hiding something," Bochy said dismissively.
[NEWS: Torres off for second opinion, hopes to avoid surgery]
Torres is expected to visit a foot specialist in North Carolina next week for a second opinion and hopes to avoid what would be season-ending surgery.
Brandon Crawford and Madison Bumgarner met with Pirates rookie phenom Gerrit Cole on the field before Thursday's game and talked for 15 minutes or so.
Cole, who beat the Giants in his major league debut in early June with 6 1/3 strong innings, dates Crawford's sister Amy. Crawford went 1-for-3 against his sister's boyfriend, and the two haven't seen each other since.
There was no mess to talk on the field Thursday, though, as the 2011 No. 1 overall draft pick won't face the Giants during this four-game series at AT&T Park.
Jeremy Affeldt threw from 90 feet on flat ground Thursday, as he continues to recover from a strained left groin muscle. He also climbed the mound to work on his pitching motion, holding a towel to simulate the resistance created by the weight of a baseball.
On Monday Bochy indicated that Affeldt, who last pitched on July 20, could pitch off a mound this week.
The 34-year-old is earning $6 million this year -- the most among Giants relievers -- in the first season of his three-year, $18 million contract.