PHOENIX -- Sensing the need for an experienced presence in the infield, Manager Bruce Bochy decided to start Ryan Theriot over Emmanuel Burriss in Friday's season opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Theriot entered the game with 182 starts at second base in approximately six Major League seasons. Burriss has started 111 games at second in three seasons, a comparable ratio. But Bochy pointed out that the rest of San Francisco's Opening Day infield lacked seasoning. Pablo Sandoval started his 371st game at third base against Arizona, but shortstop Brandon Crawford and first baseman Brandon Belt made their 54th and 20th starts, respectively.
Bochy admitted that he would have felt proud to start Burriss, which would have given the Giants an all-homegrown infield.
"Don't think that didn't cross my mind," Bochy said.
Theriot also hit effectively in limited encounters against Arizona starter Ian Kennedy, batting .333 (3-for-9). That partly accounted for Theriot's presence in the batting order's seventh spot, one day after Bochy said that Crawford would bat seventh. Instead, Crawford hit eighth. Bochy said that Crawford, who sprained his left thumb in Monday's exhibition against Oakland, likely will ascend to the seventh spot once he accumulates at-bats and establishes his timing at the plate.