Bochy drops hints at Giants playoff roster

September 30, 2012, 7:28 pm
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SAN DIEGO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy is "real close" to coming up with a 25-man roster for the NL Division Series, with a lean toward keeping 11 pitchers and 14 position players.

And yes, in the roundtable discussions, the names J.T. Snow and Eric Young were mentioned.

The Giants didn't carry Young as a pinch runner in that division series against the Marlins, which haunted them when Snow was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second base. And just like that, a 100-win team got bounced from the postseason.

"That was talked about some," said Bochy, who has several coaches who were part of that group in 2003. "You do look at previous rosters and situations that might have come up, whether you need that extra pinch runner, pinch hitter or position player."

In this case, it would mean carrying Emmanuel Burriss or Justin Christian -- a pretty incredible story, in either case, when you consider that both players have been designated for assignment and then unexpectedly re-added to the 40-man roster.

And it would give Aubrey Huff a realistic shot of making the team as a pinch hitter. Huff is starting at first base in Sunday's lineup.

Bochy reiterated that he plans to use his fifth starter as a relief pitcher in the postseason. That's still likely to be either Ryan Vogelsong or Barry Zito. It cannot be forgotten that Tim Lincecum, for all his struggles, takes the mound today in San Diego with a career-best streak of five consecutive road victories. It stands to reason that Lincecum would get the ball when the Giants hit the road for Game 3, likely at Cincinnati.

I was told today that Lincecum absolutely would be one of the postseason starters, unless he has an absolutely disastrous start at Petco Park that would reopen the conversation.

As for their relief choices, squeezing down to an 11-man staff would set up an apparent eitheror choice between Guillermo Mota and George Kontos. The other five spots are locks: Sergio Romo, Javier Lopez, Jeremy Affeldt, Santiago Casilla and Jose Mijares.

If it seems like the Giants face a lot of uncertainty ... well, just look around baseball and you'll realize how good they have it. With one more victory or a Reds loss, the Giants are guaranteed to be the No.3 seed. That means they'll open at home on Oct. 6 and 7. They're the only team in the majors that can be relatively assured of when and where they'll play.

"We pretty much know what's ahead of us," Bochy said. "That's a sense of comfort."

Bochy is not comfortable, however, with some of the fundamental mistakes he's seen in recent days, especially from his middle infielders.

"We need to tighten up," Bochy said. "Where we've made our mistakes is with two of our better defenders. We've got to get our focus back on defense because any pitch, any play can make a difference when you get in the postseason.

"I don't think they're dropping their guard," Bochy added. "But you're seeing more careless errors than you should be."

If anyone needs a clean game, it's Lincecum.

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