Bruce Bochy leaning towards batting Brandon Belt third

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Per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Giants manager Bruce Bochy gave an idea of how he’ll construct his lineup going into the 2015 season. It includes Brandon Belt batting third, as well as newcomers Casey McGehee and Norichika Aoki batting sixth and seventh.

Belt, 27 in April, hit fifth or lower in the Giants’ lineup in 34 of the 61 games in which he appeared during the 2014 season. Despite limited playing time due to a fractured thumb and concussion issues, Belt was among the more productive hitters for the Giants, finishing with a .243/.306/.449 slash line along with 12 home runs and 27 RBI in 235 plate appearances.

Hunter Pence, who finished with an on-base percentage 25 points higher than Belt last season, hits fifth. One wonders if it may be more logical to bat Pence third and Belt fifth.

Bruce Bochy wins 2,000th game as manager

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The Giants handily defeated the Red Sox on Wednesday night, 11-3. The win marked No. 2,000 of manager Bruce Bochy’s storied career, bolstering an already airtight case for the Hall of Fame.

Bochy, 64, is retiring at the end of the season. The skipper began his managerial career in 1995 with the Padres. He led them to the World Series in 1998, but they were swept out of the Fall Classic by the Yankees. Bochy would manage the Padres through 2006, amassing a 951-975 record (.494).

Bochy went to the Giants in 2007, which turned out to be a terrific decision. Bochy’s Giants won the World Series in 2010, ’12, and ’14, beating the Rangers (4-1), Tigers (4-0), and Royals (4-3), respectively. Including Wednesday’s win, Bochy has a 1,049-1,047 (.500) record with the Giants.

There have been only 11 managers in baseball history to win at least 2,000 games as a manager. Connie Mack leads overwhelmingly at 3,731, followed by John McGraw (2,763) and Tony La Russa (2,728). Also in the 2,000-win club are Bobby Cox (2,504), Joe Torre (2,326), Sparky Anderson (2,194), Bucky Harris (2,158), Joe McCarthy (2,125), Walter Alston (2,040), Leo Durocher (2,008), and Bochy.

Next stop, Cooperstown.