The Giants typically don't keep the lefty-hitting Panik on the bench against right-handers, but he'll find himself in that predicament for the second time in five games while Miguel Gomez picks up another start at the keystone. With Panik mustering a .219 on-base percentage in July, manager Bruce Bochy could be rethinking the 26-year-old's standing as an everyday player, though the Giants aren't exactly brimming with attractive alternatives.
The Padres reinstated Manuel Margot from the paternity list earlier Sunday and immediately inserted him back into the lineup at center field, and with Hunter Renfroe and the hot-hitting Jabari Blash flanking Margot in the outfield, there won't be any room for Pirela. While starts could be harder to come by for Pirela if Blash continues to perform well, the former's ability to play third base or second base should help his case for sustaining at least semi-regular at-bats. Pirela has provided a spark for an anemic Padres offense since being promoted from Triple-A El Paso in early June, batting .293 across 38 games.
Martinez hasn't played since being lifted from Wednesday's game with a hand injury, but it appears a return is just around the corner. If he's able to pinch hit Sunday, look for Martinez to be back in the starting lineup at some point during the upcoming three-game series against the Braves.
Pennington had logged the previous three starts at second base, but that was only because the opposition rolled out left-handed starters in each of those contests. With righty Rick Porcello on the mound for Boston in the series finale, Pennington will give way to Nick Franklin, who is expected to see the bulk of the starts at the keystone on the strong side of a platoon.
It looks like Pujols is simply receiving a maintenance day following his three-hit performance in Saturday's win. Pujols, who is hitting .269 since the All-Star break, will give way to Yunel Escobar at designated hitter, while Luis Valbuena covers Escobar's normal spot at third base.
Turner is dealing with a bout of bronchitis, but declared himself ready to play prior to Sunday's contest. He's apparently one of several Dodgers that is a bit under the weather at the moment, but will return to the lineup nonetheless to snap a one-game absence.
Cron will draw his fourth consecutive start Sunday, and though he's performed respectably with four hits in 12 at-bats over the previous three contests, the run of regular playing time should soon come to an end. The Angels had a spot open in the lineup for Cron the last three games with the Red Sox having deployed a left-handed starting pitcher in each of those contests, resulting in platoon mate Luis Valbuena hitting the bench. Valbuena is back in the lineup Sunday, but he'll play third while Cron covers first base due to Albert Pujols receiving a routine day off for rest.
Werth has been out since June 3 due to a toe injury and foot fracture, and this move is merely procedural -- it doesn't change his timetable at all. Instead, it will open up a spot on the 40-man roster for the Nationals to call up some outfield depth. Werth will now be eligible to return in the first week of August.
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