ARLINGTON -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy insisted Saturday that Cody Ross would have been the team's starting right fielder in the postseason even if Jose Guillen had made the roster.
Bochy has explained that Guillen's sore neck prompted the Giants to leave him off the postseason roster. But the New York Times reported that Major League Baseball advised the Giants to shelve Guillen after he became involved in a probe stemming from shipments of human growth hormone to his wife.
Guillen, obtained from Kansas City for a player to be named (right-hander Kevin Pucetas) on Aug. 13, appeared in 42 of the Giants' final 45 games and started 38 of them. But his physical discomfort limited him to a .266 batting average with three home runs and 15 RBIs -- six of them coming in a Sept. 19 game against Milwaukee. Guillen also compiled a sub-par .692 OPS.
"I thought that when Jose got here, he was swinging the bat well," said Bochy, who believed that Guillen's efforts to play through his injury actually exacerbated it.
Ross, who batted .288 in 33 regular-season games with the Giants after they claimed him off waivers Aug. 22, has emerged as one of the team's top postseason performers. He captured Most Valuable Player honors in the National League Championship Series and is batting .318 with five home runs and 10 RBIs after going 1-for-3 with a solo homer and a walk in Saturday's 4-2 Game 3 loss to the Rangers.
Bochy reiterated that the decision to start Ross was made long before controversy began swirling around Guillen, who has not been seen since the Giants left for Atlanta for Games 3 and 4 of the Division Series.
"It was pretty evident that [Guillen] was doing all he could with treatment on his neck," Bochy said. "Cody Ross would have been out there, even if Jose would have been on the club."