What Aubrey Huff’s fall from grace means for Giants and the DH
It seems that a National League pitcher can’t throw a no-hitter without a member of the 2010 World Series champion Giants getting hurt.
When Johan Santana pitched a no-hitter against the Cardinals on June 1, reliever Ramon Ramirez landed on the DL when he strained his hamstring sprinting out to join the celebration at the mound. He has yet to return.
On Wednesday, Aubrey Huff attempted to jump over the fence protecting the dugout after Matt Cain’s perfect game and missed. Huff fell and sprained his knee.
He is expected to be placed on the disabled list. Outfielder Justin Christian is expected to be called up and join the Giants for their weekend series in Seattle.
Manager Bruce Bochy said he had planned to use Huff as a DH during the Giants’ nine-game swing into AL parks. So this could be a blessing in disguise for the Giants.
Huff was hitting .182 when he went on the DL for the first time this season because of anxiety on April 22. Since returning on May 7, his batting average has actually gotten worse.
Huff has made only four starts (all at 1B) since coming off the DL. He is 3 for 25 (.120) with one double and one RBI since May 7.
Christian, 32, has been having a solid season at Fresno. But with the Giants’ bevy of outfielders there was no place for him with the big club.
He’s been hitting .364 (with a .432 OBP) with 7 HRs and 31 RBI. He has 25 strikeouts and 25 walks in 250 ABs, and he’s 10 for 15 on stolen bases.
But we’ve seen how numbers in Fresno compare to numbers at San Francisco with players like Joaquin Arias, Conor Gillaspie and Charlie Culberson.
Brett Pill, who wasn’t an option to get called up because he just got sent down last weekend, is hitting 11 for 27 (.407) since joining Fresno.
The next question is how much will Christian play? Well against left-handers, like Friday’s starter for Seattle Jason Vargas, Christian could start, if Bochy wants to give Melky Cabrera a breather and play him at DH. Cabrera’s been nursing as sore hamstring. Cabrera has played three games as a DH in his career, including two last season with Kansas City.
In that scenario, the lineup could look like this
- RF Gregor Blanco
- 2B Ryan Theriot
- DH Melky Cabrera
- C Buster Posey
- CF Angel Pagan
- 3B Pablo Sandoval
- 1B Brandon Belt
- LF Justin Christian
- SS Joaquin Arias
An alternate lineup against lefties would be to start Hector Sanchez at catcher and Buster Posey at DH.
Against righties — the Mariners are planning to start Kevin Millwood on Saturday and Felix Hernandez on Sunday — we could see Nate Schierholtz in the DH role, or the aforementioned Sanchez catching/Posey DH scenario.