CHICAGO -- Right fielder Randy Winn's bruised right knee knocked him out of Saturday's lineup for the Giants' game against the Chicago Cubs. John Bowker, who has played primarily first base for the Giants after being an outfielder in the Minor Leagues, made his eighth start of the season in right field, while Rich Aurilia occupied first base. Although the All-Star break is imminent, Giants manager Bruce Bochy wants Winn to resume playing as quickly as possible.
"I'm hoping he can [play] tomorrow," Bochy said Saturday afternoon. "I'm hoping before the end of the game he feels good enough to pinch-hit." Bochy's desire to regain Winn's servicess reflects his respect for the switch-hitter, who is batting .286 with five home runs, 38 RBIs and a team-high 18 stolen bases in 19 tries. "Randy Winn is one of the better players in the game, and one of the more underrated players," Bochy said. Bochy also had a new left fielder: Eugenio Velez, who replaced Fred Lewis. Bochy believed that Lewis, who's in a 1-for-17 skid and has struck out at least once in 10 consecutive games, needed a break. Thus, it was mildly significant that the Giants were able to conduct pregame batting practice on the field despite overnight showers and the threat of more rain later Saturday. Bochy wanted Velez, who has started only once in left this season, and Bowker to take additional fielding practice.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.