Slumping Vizquel defers to Burriss
Veteran Giants shortstop bothered by sore left knee
SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants shortstop Omar Vizquel didn't break Luis Aparicio's record of 2,583 games played at shortstop by benching himself over his 20-year Major League career.So it came as a surprise when Vizquel, who was out of the lineup for Monday night's game against the Cubs, admitted that he had spoken to manager Bruce Bochy about giving Emmanuel Burriss more playing time at shortstop. Vizquel, who is in the midst of an 8-for-86 (.093) slump, said the combination of his struggles at the plate and the pain in his surgically repaired left knee led him to talk to Bochy. Vizquel said the bone bruise in his knee has not healed and probably won't heal unless he goes on the DL. "Bochy and I had a talk yesterday, but it wasn't said that I was going to play less or more," Vizquel said. "I mentioned it to him that if he needed to bench me more and play Manny [Burriss], it was OK by me. He's been playing well and that's OK with me. I just have to wait for my time." According to Bochy, Vizquel will continue to play through the pain and the slump, but he said he intends to use Burriss when a left-handed pitcher is on the mound. Burriss has emerged as a solid complementary player, hitting .292 with four doubles, a triple and seven RBIs in 42 games this season. "I talked to Omar and he said he is fine to go out there every day but with the way Burriss is swinging the bat he deserves to get some playing time," Bochy said. "Especially against left-handed pitchers, but we intend on using them both." Vizquel, who underwent surgery Feb. 27 to remove a torn meniscus in his left knee, has continued to experience discomfort due to a bone bruise. According to Vizquel, he was told in May that his knee would continue to be sore unless he stayed off it. The shortstop, however, said he has no intention of going on the DL and said he's going to continue to play through the pain. On Sunday, Vizquel played without a brace on his knee for the first time since undergoing the surgery and said his knee felt good. "I just have to battle through this. I don't regret coming back and playing through the pain," Vizquel said. "I haven't played some 2,000 games at shortstop because I like to sit on the bench or because I have a little pain here or there." Vizquel attributes his struggles at the plate to a combination of things. In addition to missing Spring Training, Vizquel said the lack of repetitions and his weak legs have contributed to his slump. Vizquel, who has a career .273 batting average, said he's still optimistic about the season and expects to bounce back. "I know it's going to take some time to come back, but I'm glad to be back on the field," Vizquel said.
Jayson Addcox is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.