Now that the Giants can officially say that they have punched their ticket to the playoffs, Bruce Bochy can now begin to rest some of his main players that have put them in the position that they’re currently in— a good position.
While rest is great and all, Bochy can’t afford sit his most important assets for too long. Yes, it’s rather obvious that Buster Posey could desperately use a breather, and the same goes for Angel Pagan, Marco Scutaro, and even the injury plagued Pablo Sandoval. However, rust will start to form should a surplus of rest be given, which is exactly why skipper Bruce Bochy needs to keep his players fresh, while still keeping them sharp. Obviously, easier said than done.
The Giants’ starting lineup consists of multiple streaky hitters. The aforementioned Angel Pagan, Pablo Sandoval, and Brandon Belt all fit that description, meaning that they could all go stone cold just in time for the postseason. Out of everything else, that can be awarded the biggest concern for Bochy and the rest of the coaching staff.
While resting those players isn’t a bad thing, too much time on the bench could increase the chances of them going stone cold. Bochy’s decision becomes even more harder taking into account that the majority of his lineup is clicking on all cylinders.
However, the ultimate goal is for those four to maintain their solid production whether that’s through sticking to the same routine or using the advantage of resting them. Because when the postseason rolls around in less than two weeks, Buster Posey and Marco Scutaro can’t be the only two carrying the offensive load. I say those two because consistency and patience are second nature to them.
Scutaro, who originally expected to be a utility bench player when he was acquired before the trade deadline, has totaled a .355/.380/.455 batting slash since coming over to San Francisco. At the same time, Posey continues to pad his MVP case thanks to a stellar second half.
Rust shouldn’t necessarily be a concern with Scutaro and Posey. But for the free swinging Sandoval, too much rust could cost San Francisco a chance to go deep into the playoffs.
Let’s not forget the fact that just now is Sandoval starting to find his groove. Granted, his .500 (11-22) batting average with four home runs and nine RBIs over his last six games cures a lot of the frustration, but it doesn’t cure everything.
A lot of factors played into his slump. Meaning injuries probably played a role, but those same struggles could also be due to the lack of down time where he isn’t facing live pitching everyday. Of course, a day or two to freshen up his legs wouldn’t do any harm, but multiple days off could pave the way for another funk.
The Giants have a good problem. They have the luxury of rest. On the same token, too much rest could lead to a problematic first round.