As the San Francisco Giants dropped the third game of their four game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight, I’m really not worrying too much about the team. The pitching is decent although the bullpen has been spotty, the offense is flowing with 18 RBI and 6 home runs in four games, the defense has been decent, although they have 5 errors on the season so far. It’s still very early in the season, so I won’t stress about all these things. The only thing I’m really worrying about is Aubrey Huff out in right field because to me, he looks like he’s lost at sea out there.
In Huff’s 1481 games in his career, he’s only started in right field 235 times, with many of them much earlier in his career with the Tampa Bay Rays. And if you’ve watched the Giants so far this season, you’d see his inexperience shining through his performances. He made a nice diving catch yesterday, but has also missed another two in the series, one of which gave the Dodgers Jaime Carroll an RBI triple tonight. The team has tried to make light of Huff’s presence in the outfield, but when you don’t have the speed or experience playing bloop pop ups and deep fly balls on the warning track you become a link in the armor of a team’s defense that an opponent will try to exploit. When Cody Ross went down with his calf injury late in Spring Training, Huff got about 5 starts out in RF before the season started, and learning on the fly is tough to do in the MLB. With some more seasoning in right field during the spring, maybe Huff would be fairing better out in the outfield.
5 of the Dodgers 9 hits were to right field tonight, with at least 3 of them probably being outs if Cody Ross was out there. Not to say that the Dodgers were actively hitting at Huff, but just the knowledge that he is struggling is not good for the Giants. Aubrey, you are the man; but Cody needs to get better ASAP.