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Friday, March 16, 2012

Giants Spring Notes: Sanchez Still on Mend

Giants fans who were worried about Freddy Sanchez's health coming into the season are still holding their breath a bit, as Bruce Bochy admitted this week that Freddy still isn't quite where he needs to be health wise.

The Giants manager alluded to Sanchez's hesitancy throwing the ball from second as the one straw holding the former NL batting champ back. So as we enter the second half of the Cactus League schedule, the Giants still haven't been able to put together their expected opening day lineup, all together in the field at once. If you recall, I was worried about this very thing becoming an issue back in January, after it was announced that Sanchez "expects to be ready for the opener". I was thinking that after missing all that time, he'd be 100% by February, but here we are going into late March and he's still having problems. It's one of the reasons I was so pleased with the Ryan Theriot signing, but really wanted the Giants to go after Jerry Hairston Jr. Hairston's a good defensive 2nd basemen and is a solid hitter and would have been the ideal utility guy and insurance policy for Sanchez, but Sabean waited to bargain shop and got lucky to end up with Theriot. Still though, Theriot's natural position is shortstop, and putting him at 2nd base would be putting him out of position. The Giants have Brett Pill taking grounders over at third base, but, again not the first time I'm suggesting this, I don't see why they aren't using him more at 2nd base? He's played there during the minor leagues and if he could be manageable at 1st, 2nd, 3rd and left field, it would up his odds of making the opening day roster, something I think needs to happen!

Now, I want Pill on the opening day roster, but Brandon Belt has shown up this Spring and has done exactly what he's had to do to prove he deserves a spot with the big club. He's really closed up that huge hole that was the middle-in half of the plate, and had a very impressive, inside-out jack to left on an inside heater earlier this spring. At the same time, Belt is a guy who needs regular playing time and has to get his at-bats. If he's going to get 10 at-bats a week in the big leagues, then it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to have him rot on the bench when he could be further tuning his game in Fresno. The one advantage that Pill has over Belt is that he is right-handed and offers a counter to the left-handed starting Aubrey Huff. Then again, Boch has made no bones about the fact that Buster Posey will be used regularly at first base, especially early on, and that could be Huff's right-handed counterpart. I guess to make a long story short, we're halfway through spring and the Giants really don't have much resolved. It looks like Buster is right on track to be the opening day catcher as he started again in Friday's game, but other than that, there are still questions surrounding Freddy Sanchez, and just exactly how the Giants bench will break down. There's good battles going at backup catcher, where Hector Sanchez may just hit his way onto the roster, then you got the Pill and Belt decision. It looks like Ryan Theriot, Gregor Blanco and Mike Fontenot are the only guys that have a spot locked in on the roster, though much can change in the next 2 weeks.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 2:54 PM, Anonymous Jason Billingsley said…

    Giants have too many infielders/first basemen. They have Burris, Fontenot, Theriot, Pill, Belt and Gillaspie and most teams carry only 2 infielders right? So that means either Pill or Belt need to play outfield too in order to make the team.

    Since Pill is right-handed and can play other positions in the infield, does that increase his chances of making the team over Belt? I want both to make the team too, like you said. I would be a happy camper if Belt could lock up the LF job and then Pill could be the ultimate utility guy, and backup Huff at first. GIants gotta get creative if they want to improve their offense. I just can't take any more of those 2-1 losses. This team has elite players and should be able to win when Lincecum and Cain dominate and then they wonder why neither pitcher wants to commit to them long-term!

  • At 7:20 PM, Anonymous Fast Eddie SF 4 Life said…

    I think the bench has to be Fontenot, Theriot, Whiteside, Pill, Blanco with Belt starting the year with Fresno, but maybe only for a little while. I just think that with Blanco, Huff and Schierholtz, Crawford and all the switch hitters who normally bat from the left side, the Giants don't need any more lefties. They need Pill's right-handed power bat off the bench. I think that's why they're moving him around and seeing where he can play. I think that's a good sign towards him making the team. Sucks for BElt though if that's the case, I can't see both making the team and Belt has to be playing everyday.

    I really think the Giants should try their darndest to trade Huff. He's having a good spring and has just one year left on his contract right? I think they have to consider it, even if they have to swallow 1/2 of Huff's salary or something cause there's not much else Belt can do at AAA, and they now have Pill and Sanchez and Posey who will be playing there from time to time. And now this kid Joseph who you talked about yesterday. They have a lot of first base prospects. Trade Huff and clear everything up!

  • At 10:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    At 6'4", 225 pounds, Brett Pill is not a prototypical second baseman. Hairston is 5'10 190.

  • At 10:55 PM, Anonymous manseeksbeer said…

    At 6'4", 225 pounds, Brett Pill is not a prototypical second baseman. Hairston is 5'10 190. Burriss may see some time at second if Freddy is not healthy, but not Pill.


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