Update: Baggarly and Henry Schulman tweeted that Scutaro cannot straighten his pinky finger, leading them to believe there may be tendon damage. He will see a specialist tomorrow.
Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro left Tuesday’s game against the Pirates after being hit by a pitch. On an 0-2 count in the seventh inning, Pittsburgh lefty Tony Watson came inside with a fastball that clipped Scutaro in his left hand. He was awarded first base, but Juan Perez was brought in as a pinch runner. A post-game MRI revealed that there was no fracture, according to Andrew Baggarly.
The Giants are quickly running out of quality position players, with Pablo Sandoval joining Angel Pagan on the disabled list with a foot injury. If Scutaro is forced to miss time, Nick Noonan and Tony Abreu would likely share the available playing time. Noonan, Abreu and Joaquin Arias can play all of the infield positions, but will struggle to replace the production at the plate of the Giants’ 1-2-3 hitters. Sorry, Buster Posey’s RBI total.
Scutaro is the second Giants player this season to leave a game after being struck with a pitch. Ryan Vogelsong fractured two bones in his right pinky finger when he misguidedly swung at an inside pitch from Nationals pitcher Craig Stammen on May 20th. The righty started will not return to the team until after the All-Star break, having been placed on the 60-day disabled list.
Let’s just say Bruce Bochy’s lineup tomorrow should be interesting. I’m gonna take a stab at what it will look like if Scutaro sits:
LF Andres Torres (lefty Francisco Liriano is pitching, so the switch-hitting Torres is the best option to lead off)
SS Brandon Crawford
C Buster Posey
RF Hunter Pence
1B Brandon Belt
CF Gregor Blanco
3B Joaquin Arias
2B Tony Abreu
That would likely be the worst 6-8 that the Giants have put out all season. Combine that with the drop-off from Scutaro to Crawford in the 2-hole and one of the NL’s best offenses has lost much of its luster. Cross your fingers that the pitching staff returns to its 2009-2011 form.