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Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Giants Finalize Opening Roster

The Giants went down to the wire to figure out their roster situation, but they've finalized their opening 25-man roster Wednesday, and there weren't a whole lot of surprises.

The guy I'm most stoked upon earning a roster spot is rookie backup catcher Hector Sanchez. The Giants optioned Whiteside to Fresno and will trade Chris Stewart, basically putting all their faith in the 22 year-old to help Posey through the season. His bat this spring is what earned him the spot, as it's not secret the Giants need all the power they can get and will give them a big left-handed bat off the bench. As I said a few posts back here, the Giants had a chance to go with veterans or go with youth on the bench, and they went with the ladder. Other guys on the bubble to make the 25-man out of the gate are Brett Pill, Brandon Belt, Manny Burris and Nate Schierholtz. In fact, Belt did so much this spring that Boch is moving Huff to left field and inserting Belt into the everyday lineup. Schierholtz had become a hot topic of discussion of late because of this, and his bat has not been there all spring and has looked bad in the Giants games vs. Oakland, and there was some discussion as to whether or not he would make the team out of the gate. I think the Giants made the right move by keeping him on. Nate's still just 27 and I like him as a role player that may eventually bloom late (Jose Bautista was a 5th infielder before breaking out in Toronto at age 30, just saying!). Perhaps the biggest surprise though to see his name on that 25-man was a guy who absolutely dealt this spring, rightie Dan Otero. The 26 year-old has been on the radar for a few years now after dealing in the minors, and finally will get Vogelsong's spot until Ryan returns April 15th.

So, just to keep things simple, I'll post the official 25-man below, and will be back tomorrow to talk Giants/D-Backs and the build up to the opener. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised Brandon Belt was announced as the starting at 1st basemen (with Huff moving to left where he'll have to fend off Gregor Blanco and Nate Schierholtz) and I really like the fact that Hector Sanchez will see some big PT as Posey's backup, on Posey's days off or days when Buster plays first. Those days will add up, especially early, and the Giants now have a hitter they get to replace him with rather then an out-creating backstop and barely serviceable defender like Whiteside. Anyway, enough of my thoughts on the roster announcements, needless to say, I'm stoked the Giants went young and decided against carrying the near useless Whiteside in favor of Sanchez. A move that probably assured Brett Pill would make this team.

Pitchers (12)
Tim Lincecum RH
Matt Cain RH
Madison Bumgarner LH
Barry Zito LH
Dan Otero RH
Clay Hensley RH
Santiago Cassilla RH
Guillermo Mota RH
Javier Lopez LH
Jeremy Affeldt LH
Sergio Romo RH
Brian Wilson RH

Catchers (2)
Buster Posey R
Hector Sanchez S

Infielders (7)
Brandon Belt 1B
Ryan Theriot SS/2B
Brandon Crawford SS
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Manny Burris IF/OF
Brett Pill 1B/OF
Aubrey Huff 1B/LF

Outfielders (4)
Melky Cabrera S
Angel Pagan S
Gregor Blanco L
Nate Schierholtz L

15-Day DL: 2B Freddy Sanchez, RHP Ryan Vogelsong

Note: Also, for the updated Player Previews, they start here with Pagan and Sanchez and have since been tinkered with!
_________________________________________________ Get expert matchup reports and predictions on every single MLB game at Doc's Sports click Here _________________________________________________

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