SF Giants lineup: Pagan out again, Posey at DH

After the most incredible play in recent memory, Angel Pagan will miss his second straight game with a hamstring injury. The center fielder was shaken up after hitting a walk-off two-run inside-the-park home run in Saturday’s game against Colorado. I don’t think the “-” button on my laptop will ever be the same.

Pagan is having a solid season, starting 45 of the Giants 50 games and posting a .314 OBP. Gregor Blanco starts in his place for the second straight game, with Andres Torres doing the same in left.

With the game in Oakland, Buster Posey gets the start at DH on a rare Monday afternoon game. This is Posey’s fifth career game starting at designated hitter, meaning Guillermo Quiroz gets the start behind the plate. In Posey’s 14 career at-bats at DH, he has four hits including a double. This small of a sample is insignificant, but led me to look at how effective Posey is at the plate when at different places on the field (or not at all, as DH).

In 1,024 at-bats at catcher: .306/.375/.498 for an .873 OPS

In 226 at-bats at first base: .358/.425/.571 for a .996 OPS

In 14 at-bats as a DH: .286/.375/.357 for a .732 OPS

My word, look at that first base production. That’s a tick below Miguel Cabrera’s 2012 season, where the Tigers third baseman had a .999 OPS and won the AL MVP. There is a hint of sample size issues, as the reigning NL MVP has only played the equivalent of one-third of a season at first base. But the strain of being a catcher is apparent, and may be dragging down Posey’s potential production at the plate. While I think his defense at catcher and his ability to call a game outweigh any theoretical increase in production, it will be worth noting what the Giants do if Posey ever does have an “off-year”. A move to a corner infield spot could reclaim some of his ability at the plate, if the split holds up over Buster’s career.

The lineup against RHP Dan Straily (2-2, 5.73 ERA):

CF Blanco

2B Scutaro

3B Sandoval

DH Posey

RF Pence

1B Belt

LF Torres

SS Crawford

C Quiroz

P Madison Bumgarner (4-2, 2.89 ERA)

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