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Insider

Position battle: Giants' fifth outfielder

2/3/2014

According to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy all but said "the Giants will have to carry five outfielders, not four as they've done at times, because they plan to remove Michael Morse for defense late in games and would need another outfielder on the bench just in case. That suggests they really don't want Brandon Belt out there."

The candidates:

Juan Perez, age 27, bats right

Roger Kieschnick, age 27, bats left

Gary Brown, age 25, bats right

Perez: Strong defensive outfielder who impressed with Aguilas of the Dominican Winter League by having an OBP of .350 and stealing a team-high 13 bases in 40 games for the club.

Kieschnick: Started 21 games for the Giants over the last two months of the 2013 season, getting his first taste of the majors after five all-star seasons in the minor leagues.

Brown: The team's No. 1 selection in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft who struggled with the bat last season at Triple-A Fresno, hitting just .231.

Latest update: Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News thinks that having a fifth outfield spot bodes well for Juan Perez to make the roster, but notes that general manager Brian Sabean "is also interested in getting a longer look at Roger Kieschnick, who spent the offseason working with Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis."

Current leader: Perez, considering that the whole reason for adding a fifth outfielder to the roster in the first place is to have a late-inning glove to step in for Morse. Perez would also be an ideal pinch-runner for the lumbering Morse as well.