Bengie Molina Out as San Francisco Giants' Cleanup Man

Brian BodenContributor IJune 25, 2009

It's about three months into the season, and I think it's time the Giants try someone new in the cleanup hole. Bengie Molina has been holding this position for the whole season, and his numbers have really declined these past two months.

Molina's numbers aren't terrible, as he is batting .260 with 10 home runs and 41 RBI, but they definitely are not good enough to be those of a premier cleanup hitter in the league.

Molina started off the year very hot, as he batted .329 with four home runs and 18 RBI. Eleven of his 25 hits were for extra bases, which is very respectable for a cleanup hitter.

However, since then, his numbers have declined.

The month of May was a major struggle for Molina, as he only batted .200 with six extra base hits and 14 RBI. The month of June hasn't been much better for Molina, as he is batting .275 with only seven extra base hits and nine RBI.

There have been numerous times during this stretch when Molina is constantly stranding base runners in important opportunities in the game. Many times, he has rolled over into a double play or has swung at a bad pitch for a strikeout. Not to mention Molina only has three walks this season, which is abysmal for a cleanup hitter!

Although the Giants are playing great baseball right now, I think Bruce Bochy should move Molina out of this four spot in the order to relieve some pressure on him. Lately, it has been very frustrating watching Molina because he hasn't been the "Mr. Clutch" we are all used to.

Not to mention, with Molina struggling the excitement for Buster Posey is rising, as many people can't wait for him to come up next season and possibly become the everyday catcher. 

Pablo Sandoval can be a great fit for this cleanup spot, as he is in the top five in batting average in the league and has been on a tear in the month of June, batting .395. So, Bochy, try something new for a few weeks, and move the young guys that are on a tear lately up in the order and see how the offense reacts.

This would be my batting lineup vs. right-handers:

1. Aaron Rowand

2. Randy Winn

3. Travis Ishikawa

4. Pablo Sandoval

5. Nate Schierholtz

6. Bengie Molina

7. Edgar Renteria

8. Matt Downs

And vs. left-handers:

1. Aaron Rowand

2. Andres Torres

3. Nate Schierholtz

4. Pablo Sandoval

5. Bengie Molina

6. Edgar Renteria

7. Rich Aurilia

8. Matt Downs

Yes, I realize I have Nate Schierholtz in the power slots of this order, but he has been one of the most consistent hitters in the month of June. I think if he is given the chance in these slots in the order, he can continue this success and his RBI numbers will increase as well.

Something you may not know is that Schierholtz is hitting an impressive .529 against left-handers.