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3.07.2007

Bonds Third, Durham Fourth 

According to reports from Arizona this morning, Bruce Bochy is testing a lineup with Barry Bonds in the third slot, somwhere Bonds hasn't been since 2002. Bochy's reasons are sound: get Bonds up in the first inning and get him his subsequent at-bats earlier, which gives Bochy more flexibility in bringing in a defensive sub.

Ray Durham will still bat behind Bonds, as the cleanup guy. One other lineup note: there's talk about batting Randy Winn eighth because of Benjie Molina's lack of speed. Molina is so slow, it's difficult for a pitcher to bunt him to second. And even if Molina reaches second, he's no lock to score from second on a basehit.

Here's one possible lineup against RHP:

CF Roberts
SS Vizquel
LF Bonds
2B Durham
1B Klesko
3B Aurilia
C Molina
RF Winn
p

Against lefty starters, the picture is less clear. According to Todd Linden, whose quotes -- often wondering what the Giants are thinking -- have been all over the papers recently, the Giants still think he's better as a RH hitter. He may get the bulk of his starts against LHP and as a CF, where he's been playing a lot so far this spring.

Roberts has always sat against tough lefties, which will undoubtedly continue under Bochy. But who will lead off in his absence? And will Feliz and Klesko platoon, with Klesko 1B/Aurilia 3B against righties and Aurilia 1B/Feliz 3B against lefties?

Here's one possible lineup against LHP:

RF Winn
SS Vizquel
LF Bonds
2B Durham
CF Linden
1B Aurilia
3B Feliz
C Molina
p

*****

PM UPDATE: SI.com has a profile of Barry Zito worth reading. As player profiles go, it's not pure fluff, with some insight into his new delivery (yes, he has made some subtle changes) and his role as P.R. distraction and mentor (he took Matt Cain out for drinks at the Redwood Room in the Clift Hotel).

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