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09/10/08 5:20 PM ET
Vizquel back in lineup for stretch run
Giants shortstop seeking strong finish to tough season
By Rick Eymer / Special to MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- An injury kept Giants shortstop Omar Vizquel out of the lineup until May 10. A manager's decision had kept him out of the regular lineup for the past six weeks. Giants manager Bruce Bochy reaffirmed on Wednesday that Vizquel would play as often as possible the rest of the season. "From this point on, when Omar can go, he'll be out there," Bochy said. Vizquel was out of the lineup against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday, but Bochy said it was a matter of playing a day game after a night game and the normal soreness that comes with it. That's just fine with Vizquel, who hopes to leave a good impression over the final weeks after a disappointing offensive season. He raised his average to .194 with a 1-for-3 effort on Tuesday night and is 6-for-16 over his last three games. "It's going to be kind of cool and gives me a chance to raise my average," Vizquel said. Bochy was more impressed with how Vizquel handled his demotion. "The first thing he said was, 'I want to help these young kids,'" Bochy said. "It's like having another staff member when you're talking about him." Vizquel, an 11-time Gold Glove winner, has played more games at shortstop (2,636) and turned more double plays (1,694) than anyone in Major League history. "You can't help but love Omar," Bochy said. "The way he plays, the kind of person he is, he's a real pro. He's the best defensive shortstop I've seen." Pablo Sandoval, who has played first base, catcher and third base in successive games against the Diamondbacks this series, has been a benefactor of Vizquel's wealth of knowledge. "That's teamwork," Sandoval said. "He keeps telling me to do the little things, and they will lead to wins." Bochy doesn't worry about moving Sandoval around the infield so much. "With some guys, especially younger players, you are concerned about moving them around a lot," said Bochy. "Not him. He can play anywhere and loves being out there. He doesn't care where; he just wants to be in the lineup."
Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.