At first glance it appears that Joe Panik took a huge step back in 2016. His batting average -- considered his greatest asset -- took a dive from .312 in 2015 to .238 last season. Luck played a big role in the steep decline, as his .245 BABIP was nearly 100 points lower than the .343 and .330 marks he had in his rookie and sophomore campaigns respectively. A midseason concussion from a fastball to the head cost Panik a month of playing time, and it took him some time to get comfortable at the plate even after returning from the disabled list. It's encouraging that Panik's 90.0 percent contact rate was right in line with his career marks, and he continued to spray the ball to all fields. His .140 isolated power keeps him in the 30-double and 10- to 15-homer range over the course of a full season. Assuming his BABIP returns to .300-plus range, we could see a bounceback season from Panik in 2017.
Panik batted second and went 1-for-2 with a run scored in his spring training debut Friday. Panik is coming off of a down year, slashing .239/.315/.379 in an injury-shortened season. He did hit 10 homers and maintained an isolated power rating (.140) near what he posted in 2015. He got off to a cold start, and when he began heating up with the weather, he was struck in the head with a fastball and had to go on the disabled list with a concussion in June. Panik maintained his high contact rate all season (90 percent), but his line drive percentage dipped and his ground ball and fly ball rates both increased, which is the recipe for a lowered batting average. He enters 2017 healthy and will look to return to his consistent hitting ways. He won't be on fantasy radars outside of deeper formats, but he is a player that could help with batting average and runs scored if he can return to form.
Panik is not in the lineup for Game 1 of the NLDS against the Cubs. Panic batted only .226 against lefties this season, so he'll head to the bench with left-hander Jon Lester toeing the rubber for Chicago. Kelby Tomlinson will man the keystone in his stead.
Panik is not in the lineup for Friday's game against the Dodgers, according to CSN's Alex Pavlovic. Panik is hitting just .171 in September and the Giants are facing a tough lefty Friday in Rich Hill, so Panik will be held out in favor of Kelby Tomlinson.
Panik is out of the lineup Sunday against the Padres. Panik is hitting just .236 against left-handed pitching, so he'll sit out Sunday against San Diego's Clayton Richard. Kelby Tomlinson will head out to second base and hit second in Panik's absence.
Panik is not in the lineup Monday against the Dodgers. The Giants are going with a righty-heavy lineup with Clayton Kershaw taking the ball for Los Angeles, so Panik will get the night off. Kelby Tomlinson will slot in at the keystone for the time being.