Giants Make Move to Rotation, Plan Change in Center Field

SAN FRANCISCO -- Bruce Bochy was cryptic about several Giants earlier this week. On Thursday, we finally got some answers. 

Bochy had said that he had a conversation with Denard Span that was not centered on playing time, and Thursday -- a day after another Span misplay in center -- Bochy revealed that he has talked to Span about moving to left field. The problem: It's a transition the Giants don't want to make during the season. 

"It's hard to do during the season," Bochy said. "We did it with Angel (Pagan) and he said it took a whole spring training for him to finally feel comfortable out there."

If Span moves, it will be in the offseason. Of course, there's no guarantee he will even be a Giant next year. Span and Hunter Pence are both entering the final years of their deals and many in the organization believe both would be best served in left field. Does that mean a platoon? Something else? We'll see, but this ball is rolling, finally. 

The other big decision came with the rotation. Matt Cain is back in the bullpen and Chris Stratton will start Saturday, and then again the next time out. Bochy said he hopes Stratton takes the job and runs with it, but either way, he'll get at least two or three starts to prove himself. 

"We'll give Stratton a shot to show what he can do," Bochy said. 

The same holds true for Ryder Jones. He's back after tearing up Triple-A upon his demotion and Bochy said he'll play every day, either at third base or in the outfield. 

"I'm going to try to keep his at-bats consistent," he said. 

Jones is hitting second tonight so that he has some protection. A two-month stretch of success from him would certainly make the offseason planning easier. 

The flip side to this mini-youth movement is that Conor Gillaspie was designated for assignment. It actually happened Wednesday night, but Bochy was still a bit shaken on Thursday. He was visibly emotional and said frankly, "It stinks."

"It's always difficult," Bochy said. "Conor, as you well know, did a lot for us last year, especially down the stretch. This is the tough thing about going through a year like this."

It's only just beginning, and Bochy knows it. Michael Morse is back home and likely will end his Giants career on the DL. Cain will probably get a going away start at some point, but his time here is down to two months. Pence's playing time might be cut, and changes could come in the bullpen. Thursday was picture day at the park, and it was a weirdly dark scene. 

It's the way it now is, but the Giants are not fully letting go. Bochy said his hope is that Gillaspie clears waivers and returns to the organization to go and play in Sacramento. If he does that, a Septembe return is possible. 

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