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Saturday, January 09, 2016

2016 Giants' set after big trio of signings

It now looks like the Giants 2016 Opening Day lineup and roster appears to be set, and it looks better on paper than any of their championship rosters, in my opinion. Just look at the projection:

(L) D.Span CF
(L) J.Panik 2B
(R) B. Posey C
(R) H. Pence RF
(L) B. Belt 1B
(R) M. Duffy 3B
(L) B. Crawford SS
(S) A. Pagan LF

Bench: C Susac, IF Tomlinson, IF Adrianza*, OF Blanco, OF Williamson*/Parker*/Blanks*

The only parts I'm curious about (aside from whether Bochy will do the right thing and move Pagan to left) are who Bochy will wind up using in the three-hole most nights. Possibly move Matt Duffy up into the spot and drop everyone else down a notch, but I do like the idea of Buster hitting in the first inning and getting as many AB's as possible. The other, lesser important part is who will end up in the 8-hole? Pagan makes most sense as he's considered the weakest hitter in the lineup and his speed would be nice to have on for pitichers to bunt him over, but B-Craw has done a terrific job there the last few seasons.

The bench isn't great but at the same time it's not terrible. Susac is a bright young talent and we saw a bit of Jekyll and Hyde in Tomlinson with his August and September splits. Tomlinson also doesn't have the positional versatility to really be a utility guy a la Joaquin Arias. What happens at shortstop when Crawford needs an off-day if Adrianza doesn't make the roster (which let's face it, he has no business on a 25-man ML roster)? Also, they need to figure out who's going to be their fifth outfielder. Preferably a right-hander with some thump and I think Marlon Byrd would be ideal if they could convince him to take on that role. Kyle Blanks (singed to minor league deal earlier in winter) is interesting as he hit .313 with an .875 OPS in a 71 at-bat stint in Texas last September so he may be an outside candidate. That big right-handed bat would sure be nice off the bench and Mac Williamson is also a dark-horse candidate for that slot.

LH Bumgarner
RH Cueto
RH Samardzija
RH Peavy
RH Cain

Peavy and Cain could switch, and if either of those two struggle or need shelve time, Chris Heston or Clayton Blackburn will be on he ready. Despite spending over $200M to upgrade this unit this winter, they may find themselves searching for a serviceable back-end guy come July if Cain and Peavy can't pull their weight.

CL Casilla
RH Romo
RH Strickland
LH Osich
LH Lopez
RH Kontos
RH Heston*

*not assured roster spot but front-runners at this point

The 'Pen is what it is. Should be better than average but it's not quite the championship's versions. A lot lies on the maturity of Strickland and Osich as well as Heston's adaptation to his new assignment (assuming he wins it in the spring). It definitely made more sense for them invest in their rotation and outfield, but Sergio Romo has become more hit-able the last couple of seasons and Santiago Casilla seems to always go through periods when he can't be trusted. They should be fine down there, but they don't have much room for error. Hopefully Strickland and Osich really burst onto the scene this year and take that pressure off Romo and Lopez.

We've got about 6 weeks before players and coaches start trickling into Scottsdale to kick-off spring training for the Giants, so a lot can happen between now and then, but I'm pretty sure the Giants are content after the signing of Span. Outside of maybe a few non-roster invitations handed out to some lower-tier free agents still looking for homes, I think this is the Giants roster we'll start 2016 with (so long as nobody gets hurt during spring), and I gotta say, I'm much more excited about this bunch than 2015's crew. That being said, with the glut, and I mean glut of mediocre talent still out there, I'm surprised the Giants bolster their roster even further. I mean, don't you think an Alexi Ramirez to back-up the middle or even a return of Marlyon Byrd to bolster the outfield. The Giants are clearly in go for it mode and I think they're ready to pull out all the stops this summer. It's good they didn't need to deal any of their prospects away during their upgrade!
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 12:03 AM, Anonymous PittsburghJay said…

    If the Giants don't put Span in center because they don't wanna piss off Pagan than that's just foolish. If Pagan gets off to a bad start I hope they cut his ass anyway.I seriouesly think he's the fifth best outfielder on the team right now!

  • At 1:43 AM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…


    I know Pagan is the popular guy to bash now with Span here, but pre-2015 he was nails (when on the field have you).

    I'm actually in the middle of a new post discussing the Giants new-look outfield including some of the tremendous upside they have, as well as some of the question marks/concerns (of which there are certainly a couple).

    Anyway I won't say too much until that post is goes up in the next day or two and hopefully I get to your concerns, but all I can say now is I'm less worried about Pagan's health/effectiveness than Denny Span's hip. Cause if that his is like normal. He's gonna have a stupid good year I think in this lineup in this ballpark... Again more coming next post.

    Feeling that excitement of spring though even though it's about 30 degrees here late night in NorCal, but surprisingly just 5 weeks until P's and C's report to Scottsdale!

  • At 5:03 AM, Blogger Paul Smith said…

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