SAN FRANCISCO -- A couple of hours before he watched 34-year-old catcher Stephen Vogt jog out to left field last week, manager Bruce Bochy was asked if he ever has really worried about some of the random players he has sent out to the diamond's easiest defensive spot. He said two moments stand out.
The staff was a little nervous about Xavier Nady being double-switched into left field for Gregor Blanco for the final two innings of Game 5 of the 2012 NLDS in Cincinnati, and as luck would have it, Jay Bruce's epic battle with Sergio Romo ended with a fly ball to left. Nady handled it easily.
Bochy was also a bit worried when Michael Morse tied Game 5 of the NLCS in 2014 with a home run and Travis Ishikawa remained in the game as the left fielder. An inning later, Ishikawa hit his legendary walk-off homer.
"That worked out," Bochy said, smiling.
Most of them have, actually. Vogt was just fine in left and might see more time out there. Ishikawa and Morse and many others lumbered, but ultimately the offense usually outweighed the defensive issues. Cory Gearrin never saw action in his left field cameo. Most of the first basemen and infielders Bochy has sent out there haven't been embarrassed, and he said that makes it easier to continue to experiment, as he did with Vogt.
"We've gotten rid of the fear of the unknown, you can say, when you throw Ishi or guys out there who haven't played left field," Bochy said. "They did okay. Some have had their struggles, but we've had some success doing that."
This season, Bochy has already put 10 different players in left field, and we'll surely see more. It's a position the Giants haven't filled since Barry Bonds took his final at-bat.
And as the search continues, let's take a look at the long, long, long -- and often hilarious -- list of 66 Giants left fielders since the Bonds Era ended. They have hit double-digits for the fourth time:
2008 (9 left fielders): Randy Winn, Eugenio Velez, Clay Timpner, Dave Roberts, Dan Ortmeier, Fred Lewis, Brian Horwitz, Rajai Davis, John Bowker
2009 (5): Andres Torres, Winn, Velez, Lewis, Bowker
2010 (7): Cody Ross, Aubrey Huff, Mark DeRosa, Pat Burrell, Bowker, Torres, Velez
2011 (10): Brandon Belt, Nate Schierholtz, Aaron Rowand, Bill Hall, Justin Christian, Manny Burriss, Torres, Ross, Huff, Burrell.
2012 (9): Melky Cabrera, Gregor Blanco, Brett Pill, Francisco Peguero, Ryan Theriot (!), Xavier Nady, Christian, Huff, Belt.
2013 (9): Kensuke Tanaka, Roger Kieschnick (The Big Kiesch), Cole Gillespie, Jeff Francoeur, Juan Perez, Blanco, Pill, Torres, Peguero.
2014 (7): Mike Morse, Travis Ishikawa, Chris Dominguez, Brandon Hicks, Tyler Colvin, Perez, Blanco
2015 (10): Nori Aoki, Mac Williamson, Jarrett Parker, Justin Maxwell, Ryan Lollis, Alejandro De Aza, Belt, Blanco, Perez, Ishikawa.
2016 (8): Angel Pagan, Gorkys Hernandez, Kelby Tomlinson, Cory Gearrin (!!!), Williamson, Parker, Belt, Blanco.
2017 (14): Eduardo Nuñez, Chris Marrero, Aaron Hill, Orlando Calixte, Austin Slater, Justin Ruggiano, Ryder Jones, Carlos Moncrief, Williamson, Tomlinson, Parker, Morse, Hernandez, Belt.
2018 (9): Hunter Pence, Austin Jackson, Alen Hanson, Chris Shaw, Slater, Williamson, Blanco, Hernandez, Belt.
2019 (10): Connor Joe, Michael Reed, Gerardo Parra, Mike Gerber, Tyler Austin, Stephen Vogt, Yangervis Solarte, Mike Yastrzemski, Williamson, Belt.