Span has 'no problem' with possible move to LF

Span has 'no problem' with possible move to LF

SAN FRANCISCO -- Though he hasn't played left field since 2009, Denard Span didn't hesitate when Giants manager Bruce Bochy approached him earlier this week about a possible transition from center to left.

Bochy indicated the team would likely hold off on the change until next year. That's because he understands the move is more complex than a simple lineup adjustment.

"I told him I had no problem with it," Span said Friday. "I told him that if it was going to help us win, I'm all for it. ... Being older, being wiser and realizing that we have something special here. I want to win."

The Giants have some experience converting veteran center fielders to left. Angel Pagan made the same move during his tenure with San Francisco. But Bochy acknowledged it was a slow process; it took him most of the spring to adjust.

The change could come during Span's final contract year with the Giants. The team has a buyout option on his contract for 2019.

Despite some recent fielding flubs, many of which have revolved around baseball's advanced fielding metrics, Span, 33, said he's proud to carry the torch of a everyday veteran center fielder.

"There's a lot that goes into playing center field, especially here at AT&T Park," Span said. "A lot of different elements. Am in my prime? In my best? No. But I feel like I can play center field another year."

San Francisco this week activated Jarrett Parker from the disabled list, where he had been since mid-April. Parker played plenty of games in center field for Triple-A Sacramento but figures to patrol left field for the remainder of the 2017 season.

After that, the Giants will have to make an ultimate decision about Span's future spot.

He's ready to roll with whatever that may be, reiterating a point he made during a news conference shortly after signing with the club.

"I told him I was on board," Span said. "No need to think about it."

Worth noting

• Giants closer Mark Melancon made his third rehab appearance Friday at Class A Advanced San Jose. He allowed four runs in two-thirds of an inning, throwing 22 pitches, and was removed from the game after hitting a batter.

Before Melancon's appearance, Bochy said it "might be pushing it" to expect Melancon back atop the mound this homestand.

"This is a big outing for him," Bochy said. "This is where he'll have a real good idea of where he's at and how he feels."

• Among the collection of injured Giants prospects, Austin Slater is making impressive progress, Bochy said. Slater has resumed some baseball activities and could return during the early part of September.

Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.