In October of the 2012 the San Francisco Giants had such a wonderful time in Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Detroit that while other teams decided to reshape their rosters with pats on the back towards new players and bitter tears for the departing, the Giants shrugged their shoulders and kept the status quo.
With no new major imports and only one black bearded friend doing the sad Bruce Banner walk in free agency, it means the Giants have already pretty much locked down their opening day roster.
From a team’s stand point this is great news, for a writer, ehh not so much. There are only three battles this spring that hold any drama, the last bullpen spot and the last two bench spots. Barring any last minute major signings, or injuries, this is who I see taking the field at Dodger Stadium for the black and orange:
The Starting Lineup (8):
(CF) Angel Pagan
(2B) Marco Scutaro
(3B) Pablo Sandoval
(C) Buster Posey
(RF) Hunter Pence
(1B) Brandon Belt
(SS) Brandon Crawford
(LF) Andres Torres
To argue that the Giants have a great starting eight would be foolish; in fact among the contenders in the National League, San Francisco still might have the worst starting eight.
However one thing the media will overlook about the batters by the bay is that no team in baseball plays their park better than the Giants. AT&T eats homeruns alive and spits out would be power hitters. The Giants have eight men who don’t strikeout a ton and hit the ball in the gap with a phrase you should get familiar with; under the wall power.
Expect the three “P’s” of Pence, Posey and Panda to hit around twenty round trippers and guys like Belt and Pagan to lead their positions in triples. Scutaro will probably come back to earth and hit and .280 and the combo of Torres and Blanco will thrive facing only the pitchers they want to face. Brandon Crawford is the only real subpar bat, but if you’re only watching him at the plate, you’re missing the real show.