SAN FRANCISCO –– The battle for bullpen location rages on.
In the first inning of Friday’s matchup against the visiting New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants outfielder Steven Duggar fell over the bullpen mound while trying to make a play on a fly ball, bringing the discussion of possibly moving the bullpen into the outfield back to the forefront.
Last season, fans will recall another sobering call for change when burgeoning prospect Mac Williamson took a head-first blow to the head into the left field wall in pursuit of a fly ball. Placed on concussion protocol, Williamson never seemed quite the same, and the need to move the bullpen out of the field of play – as well as bring the fence in Triple’s Alley – has never been more pressing.
When asked about Duggar’s situation and the possibility of moving the bullpen, Giants manager Bruce Bochy seemed open to a real conversation about the possible change.
“We talked quite a bit about it couple weeks ago about doing to something to reconfigure the park a little bit and to get (the bullpens) off the field,” Bohy said, “and I’d be for it. We saw what happened last night and what happened with Williamson, so I think we need to stay open minded about the possibility of moving them.”
The on-field bullpens have been a fixture of the park since it’s inception in 2000, but Bochy says he values the health of his players over tradition.
“I know they’ve been here a long time, but they were there a long time in Wrigley Field, and they got moved. It’s something that’s probably going to get discussed, especially after last night.”
For now, however, the mounds will remain on the field, and Giants fans will continue to hold their breath on pop-ups down the lines.