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Giants mull options to replace Panik in lineup

Tomlinson, Hanson, Blanco among possible leadoff choices
MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Sunday that he might try several players to bat at or near the top of the order while second baseman Joe Panik recovers from his injured left thumb.

Panik, who could be sidelined for six to eight weeks after having surgery Monday to repair a torn ligament, typically batted leadoff against right-handed starters and second against lefties. Among likely replacements at second base, Kelby Tomlinson, a right-handed batter, would be an obvious choice to bat first against lefties, with switch-hitting Alen Hanson starting against righties.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Sunday that he might try several players to bat at or near the top of the order while second baseman Joe Panik recovers from his injured left thumb.

Panik, who could be sidelined for six to eight weeks after having surgery Monday to repair a torn ligament, typically batted leadoff against right-handed starters and second against lefties. Among likely replacements at second base, Kelby Tomlinson, a right-handed batter, would be an obvious choice to bat first against lefties, with switch-hitting Alen Hanson starting against righties.

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However, since Hanson is relatively new to the organization -- he was a non-roster invitee to Spring Training this year before beginning the season in Triple-A -- Tomlinson could face right-handed starters occasionally.

Bochy mentioned Gregor Blanco, a left-handed batter, as a replacement leadoff batter against righties. Indeed, Blanco filled this role in Sunday's series finale against the Dodgers and right-hander Kenta Maeda. Right-handed-batting outfielders Austin Jackson and Gorkys Hernandez can fill in at leadoff against lefties.

Bochy added he likes seeing right fielder Andrew McCutchen, who received his first rest of the season Sunday, in the No. 2 spot against left-handers.

• Bochy said Triple-A left-hander Andrew Suarez "probably" will be summoned to start Tuesday's game against San Diego at AT&T Park. That spot officially has not been assigned.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Gregor Blanco, Alen Hanson, Joe Panik, Kelby Tomlinson