LOS ANGELES - The first time the Giants visited the Dodgers this season, Joe Panik won a pair of games with homers. This time around, Panik will leave Dodger Stadium without having made a start.
Panik was on the bench again Wednesday as the Giants faced a left-handed starter for the third consecutive game. The opening day starter is in a platoon, and while Bruce Bochy thought about having Panik at second base against Hyun-Jin Ryu, he ultimately went with Alen Hanson, noting the latter had a big contribution a night earlier.
Bochy said he'll keep Panik busy the rest of this trip. The Giants will face three right-handed starters in Cincinnati this weekend and the Mets also are right-handed-heavy.
"We'll see a lot of right-handers so he'll get his at-bats," Bochy said. "Once we get on the road here it'll be the other way."
Panik is hitting just .236 this season and has only two homers since taking Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen deep that opening week. He has a .459 OPS against left-handed pitchers and has given time up to Hanson and Chase d'Arnaud since returning from his second DL stint.
Panik may start all three games this weekend, and pitchers aside, there's a good reason to run him out there in New York. The New York native has always played well close to home, posting a .812 OPS at Citi Field.
"I can't sit a New Yorker in New York," Bochy said, smiling.
-- Jeff Samardzija will face hitters again Friday in Cincinnati. If all goes well, he will start a rehab assignment. Samardzija figures to be about three weeks away from being a rotation option.
-- Bochy, a day later, on Yasiel Puig: "There are certain players in the league that I think you look at as guys that other players get frustrated with, a lot of drama and things like that. But you know what, the game has changed a lot. It has."
Bochy has said that several times over the past couple of seasons. He is old-school, but he no longer gets worked up about bat flips and all the excess emotion in today's game. Some of his players still do, and on Tuesday that cleared the benches.
Puig was in Wednesday's lineup. MLB was not expected to hand down any discipline until Thursday.