Andrew Baggarly gave a rundown of his roster spots on his blog yesterday. Here they are:
Rotation (5): Lincecum, Sanchez, Cain, Zito, Bumgarner
Bullpen (7) Affeldt, Casilla, Ramirez, Romo, Lopez, Mota, Runzler
Catchers (2) Posey, Whiteside
Infielders (7) Huff, Sanchez, Tejada, Sandoval, Fontenot, Ishikawa, DeRosa
Outfielders (4) Torres, Burrell, Rowand, Schierholtz
Disabled list: Wilson, Ross
Here's my rundown:
Lincecum, JSanchez, Cain, Zito, Bumgarner. Well, duh. The Big Five are the Big Key to the Big Title Defense.
Affeldt, Casilla, Ramirez, Romo, Lopez, Mota, Runzler. Makes sense. I like what Dan Runzler is showing us this spring. We liked this guy last year and let's hope we get to see him do some damage. Guillermo Mota just cannot be kept down. You have to love the guy's intensity and persistence. Of course, he had to beat out Ryan Vogelsong, Marc Kroon, and Jeff Suppan for the last spot, and I'm not sure any of those guys get more than a minor-league deal from anyone else. Mota would get picked up if let go by the Giants. You never know, though, and I love stories about guys who were given up on making good somewhere else.
Posey, Whiteside. Uh-huh. Surprise me.
Huff, FSanchez, Tejada, Sandoval, Fontenot, Ishikawa, DeRosa. Travis Ishikawa gets an injury reprieve. Neither he nor Nate Schierholtz have options left. Ishikawa plays one position and that would make him the first to go. Let's hope Mike Fontenot can play an adequate SS if Miguel Tejada gets hurt. Mark DeRosa will see time at 3B and 1B, I think, and be the emergency SS. Pablo Sandoval needs to play everyday and be productive. I have a feeling he will put a good season together.
Torres, Burrell, Rowand, Schierholtz. Pat Burrell probably doesn't have much left. He could be great for a month or two but I expect that eventually Aubrey Huff will replace him. When Brandon Belt gets the call-up, Huff will move to left and that will be Pat the Bat's swan song in the majors. We'll see, like I said I love stories about guys who keep it going when everyone else gives up on them. Speaking of those guys, there's the continuing Aaron Rowand saga. He will fill in adequately in the outfield (I'd like to see him play the corner spots more and not move Andres Torres from center, but thats' a quibble). Chris at BCB thinks Rowand is done as a player. That means the Giants eat some serious bucks. I like Nate Schierholtz a lot. He was an excellent backup last season and he will be again this season. He can play all three spots, has a great arm, moves well on the bases, and is left-handed. Those things will keep him on the roster.
Brian Wilson won't be out for long, if at all. If he does start the season on the DL, I vote for Sergio Romo to take over closing duties. Javier Lopez and Jeremy Affeldt could do the job, too. Santiago Casilla throws hard and strikes guys out, but also gives up a lot of walks. Walks are bad enough, but in the 9th inning they are really bad.
Cody Ross will eventually be the everyday right fielder. He's got below-average on base skills, but his speed and defense are useful, and I think he can deliver what the team needs. His Veteran Savvy Clutchness cup runneth over, and you can never have enough of that.
The team will live and die with the Big Five and the Bullpen. And Buster Posey. Buster is the glue that attaches the rest of the team to The Pitching Staff. Let's hope Buster, The Big Five, and The Bullpen stay healthy all season long.
UPDATE: Monday 0636 PDT
Andrew Baggarly's SJMN column.