Giants look to get Gillaspie a start soon

Giants look to get Gillaspie a start soon

SAN DIEGO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Saturday that infielder Conor Gillaspie will soon receive a start, which is the least that can be done for a guy who has been on a hot streak since late last season.

Gillaspie delivered his first hit of the season Friday night, a pinch-hit single leading off the sixth inning that helped set up Brandon Belt's grand slam.

Continuing in reverse chronological order, Gillaspie clinched a spot on the Opening Day roster by hitting .350 with a .945 OPS in Spring Training. Replacing injured Eduardo Nunez at third base, Gillaspie batted .400 (6-for-15) in last October's Division Series against the Cubs after swatting a three-run, ninth-inning homer to account for the scoring in the Wild Card Game victory over the Mets.

Gillaspie finished strong last season, hitting .333 with a .906 OPS in September/October.

Unfortunately for Gillaspie, his primary position is third base, where Nunez has entrenched himself. Nunez entered Saturday's game against San Diego batting .400. However, Bochy realizes the need to keep everybody sharp with occasional activity.

"Noonie has been playing so well," Bochy said. "But Conor will get a start."

The Giants experimented with Gillaspie at first and second base during Spring Training. But his improved versatility alone won't prompt Bochy to install him for first baseman Belt, who entered Saturday leading the team with three home runs, or second baseman Joe Panik, who began Saturday with a .412 batting average.

Blach settling into bullpen: Left-hander Ty Blach, almost exclusivly a starting pitcher entering this season, has begun to adjust to his new role as a reliever.

As is the case with most relievers, Blach relishes the fact that he's almost perpetually available.

"Anytime you have a chance to be in the game makes the day exciting," he said.

Blach pointed out that being in the bullpen instead of the rotation requires him to remain "locked in," as he described it.

Said Blach, "Knowing that you have to do it that day, you may not be able to dictate the situation like you do as a starting pitcher. You have to come in and adapt to that sitiation."

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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.