SAN FRANCISCO -- Citing Michael Morse's lack of recent activity in the outfield, Giants manager Bruce Bochy bypassed the slugger in selecting San Francisco's left fielder for Game 4 of the World Series today (4:30 p.m. PT air time on FOX, 5:07 p.m. first pitch) and opted for Juan Perez instead.
With left-hander Jason Vargas starting for Kansas City, Bochy wanted to replace left-handed-swinging Travis Ishikawa with a right-handed batter. Morse and Perez were the lone options for Bochy, who said, "We're going to go with our stronger defense."
Bochy pointed out that Morse has not played left field for "a couple of months." In fact, Morse's last start in left field occurred on Aug. 25, against Colorado. Morse then started five games at first base before a strained left oblique sidelined him for most of September. His lone appearance that month occurred on Sept. 19, at San Diego, when he pinch-hit and played two innings in left.
Bochy added that the brisk winds swirling around AT&T Park might prove challenging for Morse.
"It's going to calm down a little bit [around game time], but there are going to be some gusts out there," Bochy said. "So I just decided to keep Morse on the bench."
Bochy considered starting Morse at first base, but employed the same logic he used in settling the left-field issue.
"He hasn't been there [at first base] in a couple of months, either," Bochy said.
Performing exclusively as a pinch-hitter, Morse entered Saturday batting .385 (5-for-13) with one double, a homer and three RBIs in the postseason.
"He's done a pretty good job coming off the bench in key situations," Bochy said. "So we're going to keep him there tonight."
Perez, one of five rookies on the Giants' active roster, took a .125 postseason average (2-for-16) with a team-high three sacrifice bunts into Saturday's game. He also lined out to left field in his only at-bat in Game 3 on Friday.
"He had a good swing last night, and that was part of the reasoning why he's out in left field tonight, because I think he looks more comfortable," Bochy said.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.