When Brett Pill gets a start, manager Bruce Bochy doesn’t shy away from throwing him into the fire.
Pill has made six starts, and in five of those, he has been in the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ lineup, where he was again on Sunday against the San Diego Padres.
Three of those starts have been in left field, where he was Sunday, but he is most comfortable at first base, where he spent most of his time in the minor leagues. Bochy is making an extra effort to get him in the lineup against left-handed starters, but Buster Posey making more starts at first base hasn’t helped get Pill time at his best position.
“We’re just trying to get more righties in the lineup,” Pill said. “I’ve been out there [in left field] a little bit, but it’s still new to me.”
Pill had a couple shaky moments in the field, but went 2-for-3 at the plate against Padres lefty starter Clayton Richard, including a line-drive double into the left-field corner in the sixth inning.
“That’s why I’m here. I’m a right-handed bat and if there’s a tough lefty, I’m going to have to hit them,” Pill said after the game. “I didn’t have too many hits off lefties so far, so it was nice to get some today.”
Pill is batting .320 in just 25 at-bats, with three runs scored, a home run and three RBIs. Even though it’s a small sample size, Pill is second on the club in on-base percentage (.414) and is fourth in slugging percentage (.520).
He was a September call-up last season and made appearances in 15 games after hitting .312 with 25 home runs and 107 RBIs at AAA Fresno.