Ideas to im­prove ERAs

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - BASEBALL - By Henry Schul­man Henry Schul­man is a San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle staff writer.

The stat sheet is full of high ERAs for Giants starters, none worse than Matt Moore’s 5.39, which is the third high­est in the ma­jors.

In dis­cussing news that the Giants plan to ex­er­cise Moore’s $9 mil­lion op­tion for 2018, man­ager Bruce Bochy ex­pressed con­fi­dence that all of his pitch­ers’ ERAs will go down next sea­son with a bet­ter de­fense, which will be a win­ter pri­or­ity, par­tic­u­larly in the out­field.

“I think it’s go­ing to af­fect the whole pitch­ing staff, get­ting this de­fense tight­ened,” Bochy said. “I’ve said so many times, pitch­ing and de­fense go hand in hand. We’ve got to get back to who we are.”

Bochy al­ready has talked to De­nard Span about mov­ing from cen­ter to left field next year, when he will be 34, while the Giants pur­sue a younger cen­ter fielder. Any cor­ner out­field sign­ings or ac­qui­si­tions

meant to bol­ster the lineup could im­pact the de­fense as well.

The Giants had been sig­nal­ing their in­tent to ex­er­cise Moore’s op­tion rather than al­low­ing him to leave as a free agent. The club has a $10 mil­lion op­tion for 2019. Gen­eral man­ager Bobby Evans con­firmed the Giants’ in­tent Saturday af­ter the Los An­ge­les Times re­ported it.

In a Chron­i­cle in­ter­view 10 days ago, Moore said he wanted to stay in San Fran­cisco.

“It’s been great, the time I’ve been here, mi­nus the win­ning per­cent­age,” he said “I’ve re­ally en­joyed the city and staff we work with every day, the ball­park and the di­vi­sion.”

Pence longevity: The Giants held a brief cer­e­mony in the club­house be­fore bat­ting prac­tice to cel­e­brate Hunter Pence’s 1,500th big-league game Fri­day night. The club­house toast had to be a hap­pier oc­ca­sion than the game, which he had to leave pre­ma­turely with back spasms.

Bochy said he hopes Pence and Gorkys Her­nan­dez (left wrist sore­ness) will be ready to re­turn by Tues­day for the first of two games against the Rock­ies.

Her­nan­dez can play the field and did for two in­nings Fri­day. Bochy had Her­nan­dez re­place Pence so Bochy could choose ei­ther Jar­rett Parker or Mac Wil­liamson to pinch hit in that spot based on who was pitch­ing for Arizona.

Cepeda’s 80th: For­mer team­mates and fel­low Hall of Famers Wil­lie Mays, Wil­lie McCovey and Gay­lord Perry helped cel­e­brate Or­lando Cepeda’s 80th birth­day dur­ing a pregame cer­e­mony. The fans sang “Happy Birth­day” to Cepeda, who was pre­sented a cake.

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