Giants roster -- snapshot profiles

724614.jpg

Giants roster -- snapshot profiles

EDITOR'S NOTE: Giants baseball officially begins Friday with Opening Day in Arizona. Giants Insider Andrew Baggarly has been covering the team all spring. As part of his season preview package, check out his snapshot profile of each of the 25 active players on the Giants' roster.

Starting Pitchers

TIM LINCECUM Strikeouts were down and walks were up last season; now hes pitching to contact and scrapping his slider.

MADISON BUMGARNER Ended up with 13-13 record after 0-6 start; determined to get out of the gate faster this time.

MATT CAIN Earned his 112.5 million extension through consistency. Hes one of four pitchers with at least 20 quality starts in each of last four seasons.

RYAN VOGELSONG Last years rotation ERA leader will begin on the DL, but stuff appears to be there and strained back has improved.

BARRY ZITO There are 46 million reasons hes still around, and they all have George Washingtons face on them.

SEASON PREVIEW: Giants aim to reclaim division

Relief Pitchers

BRIAN WILSON Throwing 95 mph in the spring, but his strained elbow will be watched carefully all season.

SANTIAGO CASILLA Wicked stuff, hard fastball and bat-splintering curve make him an asset in late innings. He gets a little squirrelly in the ninth, though.

JEREMY AFFELDT He has a scud curveball, keeps the ball in the park and is effective against right-handers, too.

JAVIER LOPEZ Giants spent big bucks so this sidewinder could neutralize lefties for two more seasons.

SERGIO ROMO Wildly effective strike thrower as long as his elbow isnt barking. Thats when his famously Frisbee-esque slider tends to flatten out.

GUILLERMO MOTA He has a rubber arm and knows how to use it especially on the days that Zito pitches.

CLAY HENSLEY A favorite of Bruce Bochy, he has the ability to work multiple innings and take the ball whenever needed.

DAN OTERO Graduated from Duke University in three years. This 27-year-old rookie has smarts on the mound, too.

Position Players

BUSTER POSEY Looked great at the plate and behind it this spring. Catchers mask? Check. Chest protector? Check. Shinguards? Check. Halo? Check.

HECTOR SANCHEZ Hes a switch hitter with power from both sides, so hell be handy to have on the bench and will boost lineup on days Posey plays first base.

BRANDON BELT A patient and dangerous hitter, hes not a finished product. But Bruce Bochy must give him the chance to make adjustments against big league pitching.

RYAN THERIOT No longer a defensive dynamo, but he knows how to work a tough at-bat late in games.

BRANDON CRAWFORD The Giants first homegrown opening-day shortstop since Royce Clayton in 1996 (non-Bocock category).

PABLO SANDOVAL He was seventh in NL MVP balloting in 2009. With corrected vision in left eye and a full season, he might finish higher this year.

EMMANUEL BURRISS Hasnt hit nearly enough to warrant being an everyday player; most likely to contribute in super-utility role.

AUBREY HUFF Itll be a water buffalo, not a giraffe, in left field. He wont hang onto everyday playing time if he hits .240 again, though.

MELKY CABRERA Balanced switch-hitter might not achieve 200 hits again, but hell be motivated entering his walk year.

ANGEL PAGAN Slow starter lived up to his reputation with a brutal spring. Like Cabrera, hes motivated as he gets set for free agency.

NATE SCHIERHOLTZ Lost the right field job with an uninspiring spring. Must reestablish himself.

BRETT PILL Great happy to be here attitude and a powerful right-handed swing make him a good fit on this club.

GREGOR BLANCO Non-roster invitee was the surprise of the spring. Hes an on-base wizard who could be the everyday leadoff hitter before long.

Giants lineup: Posey, Arroyo out against Braves

Giants lineup: Posey, Arroyo out against Braves

Mired in a big slump, rookie Christian Arroyo is getting a night off, while Nick Hundley is catching in place of Buster Posey Saturday.

Atlanta Braves:
1. Ender Inciarte (L) CF
2. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
3. Nick Markakis (L) RF
4. Matt Kemp (R) LF
5. Matt Adams (L) 1B
6. Tyler Flowers (R) C
7. Dansby Swanson (R) SS
8. Danny Santana (S) 3B
9. Mike Foltynewicz (R) P

San Francisco Giants:
1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Eduardo Nunez (R) LF
3. Joe Panik (L) 2B
4. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
5. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
6. Aaron Hill (R) 3B
7. Nick Hundley (R) C
8. Mac Williamson (R) RF
9. Ty Blach (R) P

 

Giants get blanked by Braves, now have lowest-scoring team in majors

Giants get blanked by Braves, now have lowest-scoring team in majors

SAN FRANCISCO — Over in Cleveland earlier Friday, Brandon Moss hit a three-run homer for the visiting team and five other players chipped in a pair of hits. The Royals had six runs, which meant that when Jim Johnson closed the Giants out a few hours later, what has seemed true all season became officially true. The Giants have the lowest-scoring lineup in the majors.

At 3.32 runs per game, they have dipped below the equally-disappointing Royals (3.38). They are capable at the moment of making any pitching staff look dominant. A 2-0 shutout was the first of the year for the Braves, who previously had just two games this season where they allowed fewer than two runs. 

“Six runs in (the last) four games … I thought we would come home and get some rips in tonight, but it didn’t happen,” Bruce Bochy said. 

The manager’s frustration showed late in this one. After the only rally of the game — a two-run single by opposing pitcher Jaime Garcia — Bochy took his cap off and rubbed his forehead. He dipped his head and briefly stood as if he was going to fall asleep on the rail. The bats were equally still. 

The Giants had just four hits, all of them singles against Garcia, who is a nice pitcher but hardly one of the league’s best. One was an infield single by Eduardo Nuñez, another a single through Garcia’s five-hole, and a third a generous ruling by the official scorekeeper. 

“It comes down to, you’ve got to get some hits and create opportunities, and we’re not doing it very often,” Bochy said. “It’s just a matter of guys getting somewhat hot. We did, we had some success, and we won some games. The thing you like to see is some good cuts and I didn’t think we got enough of those tonight.”

That run, which spanned the last homestand and small parts of two road trips, has come to a screeching halt. The Giants have lost five of six. It seems silly to scoreboard-watch in May, especially when a team is playing like this, but it’s worth noting that the teams the Giants eventually need to catch keep winning. They fell 12 games back of the Rockies and 11 back of the streaking Diamondbacks. They are 9 1/2 back of the Dodgers, who might be the best team in the whole league. 

Matt Cain did his part to allow the Giants to keep pace. He got beat just once in seven sharp innings. The Giants intentionally walked Dansby Swanson to get to Garcia, who bounced a single into left. Brandon Belt had a play at the plate, but his throw was short and hit the runner. A second run scored. 

“That’s tough,” Cain said. “(Garcia) was throwing the ball really good and that’s what it comes down to, you’re looking for that one hit and he did it. He’s a good hitter. We’ve seen it in St. Louis. But it definitely is tough when the pitcher does that … it just stinks on my part to give up a hit to the opposing pitcher.”