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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Giants Rotation Set, Ready to Start Spring

While spirits are high in Giants camp and the Cactus League set to open up Friday afternoon against the Diamondbacks, for some of these guys, a lot is at stake. There are still roster spots and orders to be determined and those, hopefully, will transpire over the next month.

Bochy has decided to send ace Tim Lincecum to the hill in-light of his recent shoulder tenderness. Timmy says "what shoulder stiffness?" as he plans to pitch like any other game during his scheduled two innings (or around 25 pitches). I believe the Angels are responding with their most tenured arm, ace Jered Weaver. And outside of 2nd basemen Freddy Sanchez, the Giants should be at full force, though that doesn't necessarily mean Bochy will be trotting out the same lineup he plans to employ April 1st in Los Angeles. Boch did, however, disclose the way the Giants rotation will lineup, health impending, come opening day and there was a bit of a head-scratcher in there for me. There was no question as to who would compose the starting five, in-fact, I think they became set last August once Madison Bumgarner arrived. Ttrue to form though as Boc with his RH-LH-RH mix-up, something which doesn't quite work when your two best pitchers are both right-handed, and everyone knows it. Instead, following Lincecum in LA will be Jonathan Sanchez, then Matt Cain 3rd, Barry Zito 4th and Madison Bumgarner 5th. Now, I see logic in using the young kid in the fifth spot, but Madison Bumgarner is a much, much better pitcher than Barry Zito right now, and should be moved ahead of him in the rotation. Also, it's a shame Matt Cain isn't getting rewarded with the 2-spot after his brilliant showing last October.

Now, it's still only late-February, and things can change drastically over the next 5 weeks which is the reason I found it odd Boch announced his rotation so early. There is some good in that though. With a winning team like the Giants, plyers like to know their roles as early as possible and this will allow them to go through spring training knowing where they'll be when the bell rings. Speaking of players with unclear roles, two guys who shown up in camp and have been working their tail off in order to ensure themselves a spot on the 25-man roster, cause there isn't room for both. One is young Giants middle infielder Emmanuel Burris lost upwards of 15-20 pounds this winter, improving his speed and range drastically. A big reason for Burris' sudden disappearance over the last few years is that he hasn't quite figured out how to put his tools back together since his nasty injury in spring 2009. The other is Mike Fontenot, a guy who was added mainly for depth last summer after Edgar Renteria went down and Juan Uribe got banged up a bit. Fontenot didn't do much until the playoffs started, and without his work in October, I don't even think he's in this conversation or on this team right now after the key role he played in the Atlanta series after Pablo tanked.

Quick Hits: I'd expect most of the positional starters to only go 3-5 innings, some many only take 1 ab, but generally, during the first week of spring, the veterans will get two AB's before exciting. I wouldn't expect to see all the starters appear on the lineup card... Since it is in an NL park, I'd guess Boch would use DeRosa in left field as he probably wants to keep "The Bat" from playing the field as much as possible this spring.... Also, with Sanchez nursing his shoulder, look for Fontetnot or Burris to get the nod at 2nd.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 7:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Going by everyones last healthy full year .. The Giants would be great.

    But that just wont happen. Matter of fact, I have no idea what to expect from th offense, kida like last year!

  • At 11:34 AM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    I think this team is a little more predictable than last years.

    I think we know what we'll get with guys like Buster (though he'll even be getting better) Fred Sanchez, Torres, Ross and Miggy and even Huff should be pretty consistent close to where they were at last season.

    The guys who aren't as sure of thing on which way they go is Pat Burrell and Pablo. Patty could go all Tampa Bay on us, but I don't think that will happen. I think he's found a home. I'm not as sure about Panda. After all that success in '09, then the huge drop off in '10 and benching in the World Series... I don't care about the weight, I'm worried about his confidence (or lack there of).

    But hey, that's why they have spring training and even though it's not always a sure indicator.

    On another topic, hope Belt get's at least 3 AB's today...Opener only 1/2 hour away folks.......

  • At 11:46 AM, Blogger david said…

    derosa and old school panda back in like 4 minutes

  • At 10:49 PM, Anonymous Henry Jones III said…

    I'll tell ya,

    If the Giants get the '09 Panda, and the '08 version of DeRosa then its on. Even if Burrell struggles, or Huff doesn't repeat, those two are more than capable of picking up the slack.

    I, like most fans am excited to see Belt "belt" the baseball, I know, I know, pitiful pun, but I had to do it.

    I'm 54 and watched Will Clark come up and I think both are similar but Belt has more power than "The Thrill" did. Now whether he shows that vs. big league teams is the million dollar Q?????


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