Decker replaces Lefebvre on Giants' coaching staff

Assistant hitting coach shifts back to scouting role

LOS ANGELES -- The Giants shuffled their staff Wednesday, announcing that Joe Lefebvre will step aside as assistant hitting coach to resume working as a scout. Steve Decker, coordinator of instruction and Minor League hitting, will fill Lefebvre's role beginning Friday, general manager Bobby Evans said.

Lefebvre, 59, will regain the tasks he performed from 2008-11, when he scouted players in the Major and Minor Leagues as one of then-GM Brian Sabean's senior advisors.

"He was an integral part of our success in 2010 doing pro scouting for us," Evans said, calling Lefebvre "a key contributor for us, whatever role he's in."

Evans emphasized that Lefebvre's switch had nothing to do with the Giants' spotty offensive performance during the season's first month. Entering Wednesday night's series finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco ranked 13th among National League teams in runs (63), 12th in slugging percentage (.362) and ninth in batting average (.249). The respective league averages in those categories were 82, .247 and .383. Lefebvre, Evans said, simply would rather scout. As one of Sabean's most trusted comrades who's entering his 21st year in the organization, Lefebvre had the wherewithal to make such a switch after partnering with hitting coach Hensley Meulens since August 2011.

"His appetite has gone toward that side of the game and he wanted an opportunity to feed that," Evans said.

Decker, 49, caught for the Giants from 1990-92 and in 1996 during seven Major League seasons. Like Lefebvre, Decker is in his 21st season with the organization. His resume includes managing at the Class A Advanced, Double-A and Triple-A levels.

• Manager Bruce Bochy said right fielder Hunter Pence (fractured left forearm) "had his best day" of performing baseball-related activities Wednesday and soon should be able to take full-fledged batting practice. In another injury-related development, right-hander Matt Cain (strained flexor tendon) increased his number of throws from 25 to 40 -- two sets of 20 -- as he played catch with athletic trainer Dave Groeschner.

Chris Haft is a reporter for Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.