Giants thin on righty bench options

Giants thin on righty bench options

HOUSTON -- When their Opening Day lineup's on the field, the Giants' top right-handed pinch-hitting option is ... nobody.

Under this circumstance, the lone, solely right-handed batter on the bench is Eli Whiteside, whom manager Bruce Bochy will rarely use to pinch-hit because he must be held in reserve as the backup catcher. Bochy did mention that Whiteside could be sent up in extreme circumstances, since ex-catcher Pablo Sandoval could move behind the plate if necessary.

Obviously, the Giants can employ switch-hitters Andres Torres and Eugenio Velez as right-handed hitters. Torres, in fact, entered this year batting .284 right-handed and .198 left-handed. By contrast, Velez has been stronger left-handed (.278 to .214). But Torres would be unavailable to pinch-hit if Bochy employs the speedster as a pinch-runner first.

This imbalance, which is underscored by the presence of left-handed batters Travis Ishikawa and Nate Schierholtz, won't be permanent. It'll end as soon as second baseman Freddy Sanchez (left shoulder) is activated from the disabled list, most likely in early May. That should send Juan Uribe to the bench and make another right-handed bat available.