Categories: MLB

Carlos Moncrief’s big arm gives Giants manager options for late-game defensive switches

When San Francisco Giants outfielder Carlos Moncrief misplayed a fly ball from Cubs shortstop Javier Baez on Monday, the ball bounced away from him in AT&T Park’s cavernous right field. As Baez rounded the bases, Moncrief chased down his mistake. The play at the plate shouldn’t have been close.

But Moncrief uncorked an on-target missile to nearly prevent an inside-the-park home run that had seemed a sure thing.

“I thought when the ball ricochet over there [in right field], he’s going launch this thing pretty good,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “But what was impressive was it was right on the money.”

With the play fresh on Bochy’s mind before San Francisco’s Tuesday rematch with Chicago, he said he was open to moving Moncrief around the outfield in late-game situations as a one-man shift. If he thought a right-handed hitter would pull the ball, for example, he would move Moncrief to left field.

Moncrief is hitting .300 in six games with the Giants this season. But the former pitcher, who Bochy said reached 97 mph in an outing with Triple-A Sacramento, has made his mark in the outfield.

“It’s hard to find a better arm than Carlos has,” Bochy said. “He’s got a gift there.”

INJURY UPDATES

— Closer Mark Melancon will complete a one-inning rehab outing in Stockton on Tuesday night. He’s still recovering from a strained right pronator.

— Bochy said it was unlikely first baseman Brandon Belt would travel with the team on its upcoming six-game road trip. Belt was hit in the head by a pitch last Friday and left the game with concussion symptoms. He leads the team with 18 home runs.

Dan Bernstein
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Dan Bernstein

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