No World Series roster changes - and no Melky - for Giants


No World Series roster changes - and no Melky - for Giants

Programming note: For complete wrap-around coverage of Game 1, tune in to Giants October Quest, today at 4pm right up until first pitch and again after the final out, only on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area!SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants considered a roster tweak for the World Series, perhaps scaling back to 11 pitchers to allow them to widen their options at designated hitter when the series moves to Detroit for Game 3.

But Giants manager Bruce Bochy just informed me that there will be no changes. The Giants will carry the same 25 players from the NLDS and NLCS.

The club could have subtracted a pitcher such as right-hander Guillermo Mota for backup catcher Eli Whiteside, which would allow them to use Hector Sanchez's switch-hitting bat more freely off the bench. But the club doesn't want to burn Tim Lincecum in any kind of mop-up duty, which has been Mota's role.RELATED: San Francisco Giants 2012 World Series page

Bochy hasn't decided on a DH yet, but it won't be Melky Cabrera.

Giants CEO Larry Baer said there has been no discussion about reconsidering the club's stance on Cabrera, who satisfied terms of his 50-game suspension for a failed PED test at the conclusion of the NL Division Series with Cincinnati.

"This was a group decision and everybody believed it was the right thing given all the information at hand," Baer said. "The way the team was playing, the way we thought the team could keep going -- it was the entire set of issues."

Yes, but now the Giants are in need of a DH -- and Cabrera was leading the major leagues in hits and runs scored on the day he was suspended. So it's a suspect contention, at best, that the Giants truly believe their team is better off without him.RELATED: Bochy tells his team the journey is not yet over

There are other issues, though, including the fact that many teammates, players and coaches felt betrayed when Cabrera lied to all of them about the positive test when rumors of it began to leak. He still has not spoken to teammates and his sudden appearance no doubt would disrupt a chemistry and unity that has allowed the Giants to win six consecutive elimination games this postseason.

Then there is the fact that one of Cabrera's associates tried to dupe MLB investigators by creating a phony Web site selling a phony product to explain the positive test.

"This was not a split decision," Baer said. "This was everybody on the same page -- Bruce Bochy, Brian Sabean, our scouts, all our ownership, the CEO -- it was right for us when we made the decision."
RATTO: 'Rust' factor for Tigers? It's a mythThere is a sense around the team that Cabrera could be brought back as a free agent after the season, especially after his olive branch to convince Major League Baseball to disqualify him from the batting title, which passed to Buster Posey.

"But we can't wrap our brains around any of that now," Baer said. "Nobody's taken out the 2013 calendar yet."

As for their current situation, the Giants could use Aubrey Huff or Sanchez at designated hitter -- although with Sanchez in that spot, they'd have to give up the DH if Posey were to get hurt behind the plate.RELATED: Giants, Tigers World Series capsules

It might be less advantageous to have a right-handed DH against the Tigers' all-righty playoff rotation, but Xavier Nady and Ryan Theriot are two options and Joaquin Arias is another, perhaps starting at third base with Pablo Sandoval at DH.

Hey, it beats Tsuyoshi Shinjo.

Evans: Giants want to give Parker, Williamson chance to play, but...

Evans: Giants want to give Parker, Williamson chance to play, but...

While the Giants aggressively pursue a new closer, they haven't been aggressive for a new left fielder.

Angel Pagan is a free agent and isn't likely to come back. That leaves talented, but unproven youngsters Mac Williams and Jarrett Parker.

And for GM Bobby Evans, who is always looking for ways to improve the roster, it appears he is content going into the 2017 with Williamson and Parker filling the void in left field.

"Our mindset has been to keep an open mind in any way we can improve the club offensively. But that said, I feel like we've got a starting lineup today that we don't have to adjust or improve upon. I'd always like to find ways to improve it. I think there are some big market options, but we've got two young guys that we want to get a good evaluation on, and you can't really do that until they get major league at-bats. That's Mac Williamson and Jarrett Parker and both of them are really in-waiting for an opportunity to get everyday playing time and show what they can do," Evans told ESPN's Buster Olney on Friday.

But Evans is keeping an open mind regarding acquiring a left fielder.

"That said, I also have to make sure that if we have an opportunity to improve or solidify our lineup in some way, I want to take advantage of it. But I can't lose sight of the benefit of developing our own guys and giving them a chance and not locking ourselves into keeping them from playing time in the next two to three years" Evans said.

Evans: Giants still in 'search mode' for closer, but 'it's progressing'

Evans: Giants still in 'search mode' for closer, but 'it's progressing'

As the Winter Meetings get set to begin in Washington, D.C. on Monday, the Giants still haven't crossed off the top item on their offseason wish list.

The closer role remains vacant.

Names like Mark Melancon and Greg Holland have been linked to the Giants over the last few weeks, but nothing has materialized.

On Friday, GM Bobby Evans provided an update while speaking with ESPN's Buster Olney.

"There's been a lot of signings and a number of trades. In many ways, more done prior to the winter meetings than in the last couple of years. We still are in process, relative to trade options, relative to free agent options, to be clear who's pitching the ninth inning for us. So we feel we have the makings of a good bullpen, we just need to be clear who's pitching the ninth. And we'd like to solidify that through the trade market or free agent market. It's progressing. We're a month into this process, so we have a lot more information. But ultimately, until we have a closer, we're still in the search mode.

There's a nice balance between both. It's just that, they both have costs. Relative to a trade, sometimes you're giving up, in some cases, one or more of your top prospects and other prospects below that. In the way of free agency, it's obviously an expenditure for a certain number of years that is elavated more on the supply and demand side. That said, there are some middle tier late inning options as well that may not be as demanding as some of the bigger names. Again, it's a balance of options trying to measure all three."