PITTSBURGH -- Marlon Byrd arrived in Pittsburgh on Friday and immediately felt a sense of comfort. This is the fourth time, Byrd said, that he has been traded during a season. The Giants are his ninth big league team, and he said he was thrilled when he found out he was being traded to a team chasing a division title.
"It's a chance to play for a ring," Byrd said. "That's you want to do every single year. Coming over to a team that's established and in the hunt and has a chance to win the division, it's going to be fun. I'm reenergized. You get to look at the standings. You get to do some scoreboard-watching."
Byrd had eyed the Giants long before Thursday's trade. He said he wanted to play in San Francisco when he was a free agent two years ago, but the Philadelphia Phillies immediately sent his agent an offer they couldn't refuse. Byrd signed a two-year, $16 million deal with an option for a third year that he won't reach. He was traded to Cincinnati in the offseason and then shipped to the Giants this week in exchange for Double-A reliever Stephen Johnson. Byrd was in the lineup Friday, hitting fifth and playing right field.
"I'll try to bring my energy," he said. "I'm not going to go out there every day and be the best player on the field, but I'll put my work in. I know I don't have to be Superman, I just need to play my game and help my teammates win games."
Byrd was originally in left field but Bochy decided to keep Nori Aoki there and move Byrd to right. The 37-year-old said he feels comfortable in all three outfield spots.
"The more I thought about it and looked into everything, and talked to both guys -- I put Marlon out there," Bochy said of right field. "I don't know if there's a right or wrong way. Byrd is going to be playing right field for us."
This is a familiar spot for Byrd. He was traded to Pittsburgh during the 2013 season and had a .843 OPS in 115 at-bats. That was the only year he reached the postseason, but he hopes to help the Giants get back, and he's looking forward to trying to be a weapon against the Dodgers. Byrd lives in Los Angeles in the offseason and he's a .356 career hitter at Dodger Stadium. The Giants go there next weekend, but soon after that they should get Hunter Pence back. Byrd said he'll be fine with a bench role.
"I don't care what the role is as long as I'm helping," he said.
Byrd has 19 homers this season but acknowledged that the average (.237) and on-base percentage (.286) are below his standards. He said he focuses on putting balls in the gap, not hitting homers, and that should make him a good fit at AT&T Park. He's not worried about the low numbers from his Reds tenure.
"What matters is what I do now," Byrd said.
The numbers might get a boost now that he no longer has to face Giants. He said he never felt comfortable against Giants pitchers, and he's a .237 career hitter against the team he just joined. Byrd won't have to face Madison Bumgarner anymore; on Friday he was set to line up behind him.
"Oh gosh, yeah, I don't like facing him," Byrd said. "I don't like facing anybody here, especially (George) Kontos. I think I have like three foul balls against him."
Byrd is 0-for-6 against Kontos with two strikeouts. Now, that no longer matters.