Friday, March 30, 2012

The 25 Man Roster Decisions

The Giants are coming down to picking the 25 guys that will start the season with the big league team. For the most part the big picture is set with the final spots coming down to just a few different guys.

First up the people we know will be on the team:

C- Buster Posey (Duh)
1B- Aubrey Huff ($11 million contract pretty much guarantees you a roster spot, plus he did Pilates in the off-season)
2B- Emmanuel Burriss (Freddy Sanchez is starting on the DL so this is the Giants best choice)
SS- Brandon Crawford (no other choice on the roster, probably no worse than last years short stops)
3B- Pablo Sandoval (Duh)
LF- Melky Cabrera (Lord Melkington shall save the offense)
CF- Angel Pagan (I think his leash is short with the crazy spring of Gregor Blanco)
RF- Nate Schierholtz (Another guy with a short leash who could lose time to Blanco)

OF- Gregor Blanco
DL- Freddy Sanchez (will he even play this year?)

SP- Tim Lincecum (Duh)
SP- Madison Bumgarner (Duh)
SP- Matt Cain (Duh)
SP- Barry Zito (With his money it would take a HUGE reason for him not to be on the team)
CL- Brian Wilson (unless an injury creeps up)
RP- Sergio Romo (unless an injury creeps up)
RP- Javier Lopez
RP- Jeremy Affeldt
RP- Santiago Casilla
RP- Clay Hensley
RP- Guillermo Mota

DL- Ryan Vogelsong

With all of these guys it gets the Giants to 20 guys and five spots left on the active roster. The Giants have also decided to carry and eight man bullpen for the first few games of the season (a big show of confidence in Zito) which means that there is one spot left in the bullpen and four spots left on the bench.

For the backup catcher spot it is likely either Eli Whiteside or Chris Stewart with Hector Sanchez not ruled out. This isn't something that I will get worked up in a tizzy about, Sanchez is probably the best hitter but is also young with little experience above A ball. Asking him to be the backup and also produce offensively with sporadic playing time.

The last three bench spots are down to Brandon Belt, Brett Pill, Ryan Theriot, Mike Fontenot and Joaquin Arias. Seeing as the 9am deadline to cut the Cajuns (Fontenot and Theriot) has passed with them both having guaranteed contracts now I will say it is pretty safe to say that they are on the team as the back up infielders. UPDATE 10:52am it looks like Mike Fontenot was released.

That leaves one two spots for either Belt, Pill or Arias (Sanchez could make it as 3rd catcher but I doubt it). Belt has the upper hand in that he can play a passable outfield and has logged more innings out there than the other guys which might help with the team only carrying four outfielders. Pill has the advantage of being right handed with some pop which might help with the regular roster being skewed toward lefties. Arias is a slick defender which normally would help but might not with the Giants really hurting to add offense and full of guys without much in the way of offensive skills.

If I were a betting man I bet Pill gets the nod for the last spot so Belt can get regular reps in Fresno especially with the Giants talking about wanting to mess around with his batting mechanics. With Fontenot released it probably means that both Belt and Pill can make the team. It will be interesting if that is the case what kind of playing time they give him.

All I can say is that it will be nice when regular games start and there is less worry about roster construction, I'm ready to start worrying about batting orders instead!

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