Home World SF Giants sit SS Luciano for 2nd straight game amid defensive woes

SF Giants sit SS Luciano for 2nd straight game amid defensive woes


NEW YORK — When the Giants called up Marco Luciano, their top decision-maker, Farhan Zaidi, said the club was going to “give him a good shot at this job” and that the their highly touted prospect was going to “get some run” at shortstop in Nick Ahmed’s absence.

Not two weeks later, Luciano’s name was absent from the starting lineup for the final two games of the Giants’ road trip. In their series finale Sunday against the Mets, manager Bob Melvin opted for the left-handed-hitting Brett Wisely over Luciano, even with Sean Manaea, a southpaw, on the mound for their opponents.

“Maybe not Marco’s best trip, as far as defensively,” Melvin said before first pitch Sunday.

In five games, Luciano has committed five errors. Four of them, including his latest after entering off the bench Saturday night, have come in the ninth inning or later.

With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the ninth of Tuesday’s eventual 7-6 loss in Pittsburgh, Luciano wasn’t able to handle a hard chopper that could have been a game-ending double play. He was eaten up again two days later on a grounder that put the leadoff man on base to begin the bottom of the ninth.

In New York, Luciano airmailed a throw in the first inning Friday night and flubbed another late-inning double play ball. The next night, Luciano was removed from the starting lineup in favor of Wisely but was inserted after a string of substitutions and almost immediately committed his fifth error in as many games, missing a point-blank toss from second baseman Thairo Estrada.

“Sometimes when you’re struggling a little bit defensively those are the tougher plays because you have time to think about them,” Melvin said. “It’s the instinctive plays that you don’t think a whole lot about. He’s made some good plays on this road trip on some of the tougher plays. So he’s just going through a little patch here where it isn’t great, but a lot of times that happens with younger guys. With anybody.”

Before each of the past two games — both matinee starts, which don’t typically feature lots of on-field work beforehand — Luciano has been at shortstop, taking ground balls. He has also been accountable, sitting at his locker willing and ready to answer questions after his miscues.

“I felt bad for him. I felt bad for me,” Luciano said through Spanish-language interpreter Erwin Higueros after his error Tuesday, the only one that has impacted the team in the win-loss column. “I want to help, at least, to get a force out. But those are things that happen. … I did not put my glove in the right way. I was undecided how I wanted to field the ball.”

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