Bochy considers batting pitcher eighth
Giants manager intrigued by idea of putting speed ninth
SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy issued his stamp of approval on Wednesday's mild quirk in the Los Angeles Dodgers' lineup.In fact, Bochy liked it so much that he hinted he might try the same ploy -- batting the pitcher eighth and a fast position player ninth -- later in the season. Bunching his speed, Dodgers manager Joe Torre batted center fielder Juan Pierre in the No. 9 spot typically reserved for the pitcher. This gave Los Angeles the potential to have the fleet Pierre, Rafael Furcal and Orlando Hudson batting consecutively. Dodgers pitcher Eric Stults hit eighth. "There may be a time that we do it this year," Bochy said, naming Eugenio Velez and Emmanuel Burriss as possibilities to hit ninth. Bochy added that he'd be more likely to make this move with a starting pitcher who handles the bat well, such as Matt Cain or Tim Lincecum. Typically, this move also clears the way for the ninth hitter to attempt stolen bases. If he's batting eighth, his path to second base is more likely to be blocked by a teammate on base ahead of him. "That's where it makes sense, when you have a guy like Pierre," Bochy said. "You don't want him in the eight-hole as much as behind the pitcher. So you clear up the bases for him to run."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.