SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Giants manager Bruce Bochy hasn’t decided for certain how he’ll arrange the middle of his batting order. He’d like to see how it meshes once he gets his No.2 hitter in there.
It’ll be awhile longer before Marco Scutaro gets into a Cactus League game. Bochy originally hoped Scutaro could debut this weekend, but now the manager is calling that a longshot.
No setbacks, Bochy insisted. They’re just taking it slow with the 38-year-old second baseman. Bochy acknowledged an eagerness, though, “to see what we have there.”
As I wrote a few days ago, Scutaro told me he still feels instability in his hip area when he takes ground balls. So he knew it would bother him if he began swinging a bat. In the meantime, he is continuing a core strengthening program and the Giants insist they have plenty of time to get him ready.
You can understand why Giants fans might be skeptical. Two springs ago, second baseman Freddy Sanchez kept insisting he was just a couple days away from playing in an exhibition game, kept insisting he was having no setbacks with his dislocated shoulder. He never made it out of Scottsdale. He never played in another big league game.
The Sanchez situation was a little different, though. An infielder who can’t throw pretty much can’t play. Scutaro already demonstrated last season that he can play through the back ailment, although his defense suffered and he had to cheat on anything thrown inside.
Right now, Bochy plans on Scutaro being his starting second baseman, and “more than likely in the No.2 hole. It’s a matter of what we’ll do with the next four guys.”
(The guess here: two different lineups. Pagan-Scutaro-Posey-Pence-Sandoval-Morse-Belt and Arias or Crawford vs. left-handers and Pagan-Scutaro-Belt-Posey-Pence-Sandoval-Morse-Crawford vs. right-handers.)