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Abreu could give the Giants late inning offense off the bench.
The Giants really struggled in pinch-hitting situations last season. As a team, they hit .218/.284/.342 in their pinch-hitting opportunities.
The current bench of Torres, Hector Sanchez, Joaquin Arias and whomever they choose among Francisco Peguero, Kensuke Tanaka, Brett Pill and Wilson Valdez for the final two bench spots are not likely to drastically improve upon that line.
Hairston and Bobby Abreu would have combined to give the Giants more thump off the bench in the late innings. The bench is very important for the Giants because they play so many close games.
Abreu was sixth in the league with a .395 on-base percentage in pinch-hitting situations last season. In 43 plate appearances as a pinch-hitter, he hit .257/.395/.343.
Another good option for the bench besides Abreu would have been Reed Johnson, who returned to Atlanta on a one-year deal worth $1.75 million. Johnson was second in the league with a .419 batting average as a pinch-hitter last season.
Johnson also would have been a good alternative to Hairston or Torres as a platoon mate with Blanco in left field. In addition to his pinch-hitting exploits, he hit .311/.354/.444 against left-handed pitching last season.
Despite their struggles pinch-hitting, the Giants managed an outstanding 30-20 record in one-run games in 2012. However, if they don't find a way to improve their bench, they might struggle to sustain their success in close games into 2013.