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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Giants Start Spring Rolling

The Giants have looked pretty good through the first weekend of spring training as they have compiled a 3-1 record over their first 4 cactus league games. The new arrivals have all looked comfortable and have contributed nicely so far. Dave Roberts has been the most impressive newcomer, causing problems for opposing teams at the top of the lineup. I would like to see this guy stay healthy for 140+ games, he really could be better than Juan Pierre at 1/2 the price. One of the guys yet to find there rhythm is Rich Aurilia. Aurilia is still looking for his first hit of the spring, but has played well at first base. One of the things I was worried about with Aurilia making the permanent transition to first base was how it would effect him at the plate. It's still early in the spring though and It's not time to worry about anything really besides health. On the health front, the Giants have been pretty well off besides some players suffering from the flu that hit the clubhouse this week. Because of this, the Giants haven't been able to field what they'll consider to be their opening lineup. The spot that looks like will be receiving the most attention is the number 3 hole. Bruce Bochy has said that he plans to have Aurilia be the main guy in the 3 hole, but that looks like the only unsure spot at this point. Ryan Klesko has been hitting the ball well to start the spring, and if it continues to happen, the team must seriously consider on having him go into the season as the starting first basemen. I'm a big Rich Aurilia fan, and I am glad to have him back on the team, but if healthy, I think Klesko will bring more to the table offensively than Aurilia.

One guy who has impressed all viewers this spring has been Todd Linden. Linden is leading the team with a .625 average and is roping the ball all over the yard with authority. The Giants have always had high hopes for Linden, but many people have written him off after a few years of being unable to stick in the big leagues. He is still only 26, a little old for a prospect, but plenty of time to still turn into a good ball player. I think Bruce Bochy is going to be a good manager for Linden. With the Padres, Bochy was very good at playing the hot hand, and dividing at-bats between players. One good example is the way he dealt with Mike Piazza and Josh Bard last season. I barely heard of Josh Bard until last year when him and Piazza combined to give the Padres 31 home runs and 108 RBI's from the catcher position. Bochy does well at putting guys in spots they can succeed at and I expect to see him do the same with Linden. The skipper has also said that Linden will be the teams' center fielder on days that Dave Roberts sits. Jason Ellison has been doing everything he's been asked as well, but it's now no secret that the Giants have plans for Linden and there is only a roster spot for one. Another young Giant who is swinging it well and looking to cement his spot on the roster is Kevin Frandsen. Frandsen hit his first home run of the spring on Sunday and drove in 3 runs. He leads the team in runs this spring.
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The Giants Baseball Blog
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