Source: Denis Poroy/Getty Images North America
At 28 years old, Perez has done nothing to really distinguish himself to the Giants’ hierarchy. He can play all three outfield positions, but he lags behind offensively, slashing just .170/.224/.270 for the 2014 season. Conversely Ishikawa slashed .252/.311/.393 for the season in limited at-bats.
What it comes down to is who provides the best opportunity for the Giants to have a chance at repeating as champions. With Bochy, money spent by the front office will not dictate who he sends out to man left field. Rather, it will be who he feels most confident in their abilities to do the job. Spring Training will go a long way in determining who Bochy has trust in. He has the proven player in Blanco, someone who has been with the Giants and has extensive experience playing left field. He has Aoki, the free agent player who handles the bat best of all the options but has limited experience in left field and can be shaky in the outfield. Bochy has Brown, a former first-round pick who has struggled at the plate and has limited action in left, but does provide some much-needed youth and speed. Or his has Ishikawa, a playoff hero, and Perez, a fourth outfielder at best.
At the beginning of the season it would not be surprising to see Aoki, Blanco and Ishikawa on the MLB roster, with Brown and Perez heading back to Triple-A for consistent at-bats. Aoki will more than likely get the start in left on opening day, with Blanco filling the role of fourth outfielder. He will play left when Aoki needs a day off and center when Pagan needs to rest. Blanco will probably not play right much as Aoki will give Hunter Pence a day off (if he ever takes one) while Blanco would play left. Ishikawa will be used as a fill in for left field and a backup at first base.
If Brown displays early season success at Triple-A, then a promotion to the majors and some starts in a platoon role could appear as Aoki, Blanco and Ishikawa all bat left-handed. It appears that Perez could be the odd man out in the five-player competition, but he did receive a World Series ring.