SAN FRANCISCO -- Working with a less-experienced roster than usual, Giants manager Bruce Bochy and his coaches know that they must continue to teach the club's rookies and near-rookies about baseball's subtleties while keeping their eyes on the prize, as the saying goes.
"We're in this to win games," Bochy said Friday. "But part of this is developing [players], because we are young."
Among position players, the Giants have three rookies (third baseman Conor Gillaspie, first baseman-outfielder Brett Pill and catcher Hector Sanchez) and two performers with less than a year of Major League experience (first baseman Brandon Belt and shortstop Brandon Crawford). Balancing the priorities of winning and nurturing likely will prompt Bochy to remain creative in devising his daily lineup. Including Friday, the Giants have used 21 different lineups in 25 games.
Younger Giants also can expect to undergo occasional tutorials that extend beyond the early work that proceeds virtually every day. Example: Crawford, who has struggled at bat and afield (.208 average, six errors), practiced fielding grounders intensively with bench coach Ron Wotus on Friday and was not in the lineup. With left-hander Randy Wolf pitching Saturday, the left-handed-batting Crawford won't return to the lineup until Sunday.