SAN FRANCISCO -- Bruce Bochy went up to Brandon Crawford on Saturday night and asked if his former No. 8 hitter wanted to bat third or fourth on Sunday.
"He went from that to leading off," Bochy joked when recalling the conversation.
Crawford ended up fourth in one of the year's strangest lineups. Buster Posey is out because today was a scheduled off day for the catcher who has carried a heavy load. Matt Duffy is out so Casey McGehee can get his first start at third base since returning from Triple-A. Hunter Pence and Gregor Blanco are on the DL, and the center fielder, Angel Pagan, is sitting because he's hitless in his last 19 at-bats and just 7-for-55 in his last 14 games. It's hard to take Pagan out of the lineup when so many others are off, but Bochy felt he needed to.
"I think he needs a mental break more than anything," said Bochy, who reiterated that Pagan is healthy. "I should have given him a day a couple days ago. This might be one of his longest little funks he has had since he's been here, and hopefully a day off is going to help him. Really, the last couple of days, we don't have anyone swinging real well ... It's to a point (with Pagan) where he definitely needs a day."
Ordinarily, a day off for Pagan means a start for Blanco, but the fourth outfielder is still struggling with that concussion. Blanco got dizzy when riding an exercise bike yesterday, but the trainers are hopeful that he'll feel better when he tries today. Blanco wants to swing a bat as soon as tomorrow, but the Giants will be cautious after experiencing what they did with Brandon Belt last year. With Blanco out, Justin Maxwell gets a rare start in center field.
"It goes to show you how valuable Gregor Blanco is," Bochy said. "He can play anywhere in the outfield, plus you can start him."
Regardless of who has been out there the last couple of nights, the Giants haven't been hitting. Bochy said he could shake up the lineup after today's game, with Pagan a possibility to drop back down to a spot lower in the order. Crawford could be one of the guys who benefits and moves up.
"I liked where he was in the sixth spot, but I could see him hitting a little higher," Bochy said.
--- If you're listening on radio, Doug Greenwald and Randy Winn will call the game on KNBR because Jon Miller and Dave Flemming are not here. It's a big day for Doug, and his first regular season Giants game since 2010.
--- Yes, the Giants will see Felix Hernandez during a four-game series with the Mariners. He faces Madison Bumgarner on Wednesday in Seattle.