Tuesday’s first peek at the NL All-Star voting reflected the fact the Giants are, indeed, a 26-38 team.
They were nearly shut out, with the caveat that only position players are voted upon by fans. Only Buster Posey cracked the top 10 at his position, ranking eighth at catcher.
Bruce Bochy, conceding that “somebody’s going to have to go from this club,” pointed at Will Smith and a perfect season amid a very imperfect one.
“I think you have to look at what he’s done, sure,” the manager said of the team’s closer, who’s 14-of-14 in save opportunities, carrying a 2.19 ERA into the series opener with the Padres at Oracle Park. “Smitty’s been right on every time out there. He’s done a terrific job. So, there’s no doubt he’ll get some consideration.”
Bochy also did a bit of campaigning for his rotation. Madison Bumgarner, coming off a seven-inning, one-run performance against the Dodgers, is 3-6 with a 3.83 ERA. Jeff Samardzija comes in at 3-5 with a 3.72 ERA.
“Bum, the wins aren’t there, but he’s throwing the ball well,” Bochy said. “Even Samardzija, look at his ERA, he’s been throwing the ball well.”
Tyler Austin was in the lineup at left field for a rare start against a right-hander, with Steven Duggar playing center and Kevin Pillar on the bench.
Get used to seeing the righty Austin more against right-handers, as he tries to figure them out.
Austin has killed lefty pitching this year, slashing .397/.571/.968 in 49 at-bats. Those numbers plunge to .194/.310/.504 vs. righties.
“You look at what he’s done against them in the minor leagues, it’s pretty good,” Bochy said of Austin, who last year was better against right-handers, hitting .244 with 15 homers in 250 at-bats. “When you don’t see them, it’s a tough duty. When you see them occasionally, don’t have a good feel for the breaking ball going away from you or even the changeup or even the fastball.
“The more he sees, the more comfortable he’s going to get. That’s why I think I’d like to get him in the mix a little more.”
Brandon Belt, who was scratched from the lineup Sunday with a stomach illness, was not ready to start Tuesday. Bochy said he would be available off the bench, but Belt had added a neck issue to his concerns.
He tried getting himself warmed up to pinch-hit Sunday, Bochy said, when his neck “locked up on him.”
“Just giving him another day. He is available to pinch-hit, double-switch,” Bochy said.
Posey (hamstring) ran the bases, and Bochy said “chances are” the catcher can return Wednesday, the first day he’ll be eligible to be activated from the IL.
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