Angel Pagan Returns to San Francisco Giants’ Lineup

San Francisco Giants center fielder Angel Pagan will return to the starting lineup today in the series finale against the Milwaukee Brewers, according to Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Pagan will return to his role as leadoff hitter, which will move Hunter Pence into the number two spot in the starting lineup.

Pagan has been out since June 15th with back inflammation, but after a short rehab stint with the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies, he said he is feeling great.

Before Pagan went down with his back injury, he was hitting .307 with three home runs and 19 RBI. He also had a .356 OBP and 11 stolen bases.

The Giants are quite simply a much stronger, more well-rounded team when Pagan is in the lineup. Despite Pence and Gregor Blanco seeing time in the leadoff spot in Pagan’s absence, Pagan is the only true leadoff hitter that the Giants have. He’s speedy on the basepaths as he can stretch a single into a double and he can get from first to third on a single, he finds ways to get on base, and he was hitting well before he got injured.

Pagan is also their sparkplug. He provides so much energy on and off the field for the Giants, and he’s a key contributor to their strong team chemistry. He gets this Giants team excited, and his energy is contagious.

In order to clear a roster spot for Pagan, the Giants optioned second baseman Matt Duffy.

Duffy was called up to the Giants at the beginning of this road trip. Given Joe Panik‘s hot streak recently, this move made the most sense for the Giants.