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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Giants Full-Squad Workouts Begin

The Giants had their first official full-squad workout scheduled for Tuesday, but weather conditions have kind of kept teams from getting into their full-planned practices.

The two new additions to the Giants lineup, Mark DeRosa and Aubrey Huff, both arrived a few days early and got some work in on Monday before the rains came in and cut the workouts short. Huff arrived in good shape, supposedly down 10-15 pounds from where he ended last season at and appears determined to bounce back from his sub-par 2009 season. The 1 year deal could be a blessing for the Giants as he's again in a contract year and will have huge incentive to produce. The Giants projected number 5 hitter and left fielder, Mark DeRosa, is still easing his way back from surgery on his left wrist, but has been able to take part in most baseball activities and expects to be on the field for the Giants' Cactus League opener March 3rd. DeRosa took live batting practice in the cages on Monday, and reported no ill effects from the wrist surgery. Unfortunately, the Giants have done most all their hitting in cages over the last couple of days, so it's kind of tough to tell how the sessions have actually gone, but it's so early anyway that I don't think anyone is concerned one way or another. The other Giants' position player recovering from surgery, Freddy Sanchez, took part in agility drill and did some running as he tries to get himself into baseball shape despite not being scheduled to take part in any Cactus League games at this point.

Besides making sure DeRosa and Sanchez get back to 100%, the Giants will also be hoping to see a few of their returning players bounce back in 2010, and a good spring will definitely put them on the right track. The two guys I'm thinking about are Edgar Renteria and Aaron Rowand. Renteria, especially, has to bounce back in a big way from 2009's disaster in which he hit a career-low .250 and sported a career-low OPS of .635. At least, the Giants would like to see that OPS rise into the .700's and the batting average up around .275 or higher, and I do think Renteria can still do that. It's no secret that he played most of last year at less than 100%, and apparently one doctor who checked him out after the season was surprised he was able to continue playing in the condition he was in. His bounce back will be key in the Giants success, both offensively and defensively, as will Rowand's.

Aaron Rowand is set to leadoff for the Giants and hold that spot indefinitely and they're hoping he'll have the same success in that spot that he did when he was first moved there last summer. Obviously, in a perfect world, the Giants would have a more ideal leadoff man, and did show a bit of interest in guys like Johnny Damon and Scott Podsednik to try and get a more seasoned leadoff man in here, but Rowand actually thrived there in 2009. The 32 year-old center fielder hit .294 with 6 homers, 25 RBI, 29 runs scored and carried an OPS over .800 in 50 games at the leadoff spot last season. If Rowand doesn't work out in the top spot this year, I'd like to see the Giants go with Freddy Sanchez there as soon as he gets back into the lineup. Although he doesn't walk a whole lot, Sanchez is a patient hitter, and makes consistent contact and when he's right, he'll hit for a high batting average, and all those things translate well at the top of the order. Darren Ford, a youngster who could be in the mix in center field down the line, is also in camp, and he could very well put himself in a favorable spot with a strong spring. After Rowand in center field, there's Andres Torres and that's about it as far as major league ready players go, so Ford is going to given ample opportunity to climb his way up the organizational depth chart.
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3 Comments:

  • At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Chris Peters said…

    I'm glad the Giants didn't get Damon or Podsednik, but I wish we had a better option than Rowand for leadoff. Maybe Velez can win a job in spring training and take that spot, but I guess he'd have to beat out Schierholtz which is unlikely.

     
  • At 1:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The Giants should consider playing Fred lewis in left and putting Derosa at second to start the year with Sanchez out. Lewis seems like the best fit to leadoff and that would seemingly give the Giants their best lineup with the most speed I think.

     
  • At 2:59 AM, Blogger Mark said…

    Good post on baseball handicappers.

     

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