Giants roster -- snapshot profiles

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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.

Latest round of bullpen auditions go poorly in Giants' 50th loss

Latest round of bullpen auditions go poorly in Giants' 50th loss

SAN FRANCISCO -- Practically speaking, the 50th loss is no different than the one before or the one after, but this sport is built on milestones, and this one came quickly.

The Giants lost their 50th game on August 12 last year. This season, it was clinched when Ryder Jones grounded out in his fourth career at-bat, handing the Mets a 5-2 win on June 24. 

Bruce Bochy called losing 50 of your first 77 games "hard to believe" and "embarrassing." Johnny Cueto, who went seven strong, said the reality was "hard and sad." Brandon Belt, who got Cueto off the hook for a loss, agreed with his manager.

"That's a pretty good word to use -- it is embarrassing to come out and lose every day, especially with the group of guys we have," Belt said. "When you're losing as much as this, it is embarrassing. We're trying to do whatever we can to turn this thing around."

Lately, that has meant changes to the roster. It is officially audition season, and in that respect, it was not a particularly inspiring day for the bullpen. The Giants felt they would have a better mix this year, but it hasn't played out. Instead, they're once again trying to find pieces for the next successful Giants bullpen.

With Hunter Strickland suspended and Derek Law in the minors, two young relievers, a middle-innings stalwart, and a newcomer pitched the final two frames. They gave up four runs.

Sam Dyson was the first on the mound in the eighth. Belt had homered a few minutes earlier, tying a good starter's duel. Dyson gave up a leadoff triple to Curtis Granderson and walked Asdrubal Cabrera before throwing two good sliders past Yoenis Cespedes for the strikeout. With two lefties coming up and the go-ahead run still on third, Bochy turned to Steven Okert. He immediately gave up a seeing-eye RBI single to Jay Bruce. Wilmer Flores doubled off George Kontos later in the frame to make it 3-1. 

In the ninth, Kyle Crick showed some of the wildness that kept him in the minors for seven years. He, too, gave up a leadoff triple, a sin you always pay for. A walk helped put another run into scoring position and a wild pitch extended the Mets’ lead to four. 

Before the game, Bochy talked of getting an extended look at Jones. He was 0-for-4 in his first big league game but he’ll be back out there tomorrow. It’s time to fight for a job, and the same holds true of some relievers who didn’t fare well Saturday. It is a group with a closer locked into a longterm deal and little else decided. 

Are Strickland or Law eighth-inning guys? Will Dyson be a worthwhile reclamation project? Will Kontos be back, and will he carve out a different role? Are Okert and Josh Osich capable of giving Bochy lefties he trusts? Is Crick’s improvement in Triple-A a sign of things to come? There are many questions to be answered over the next three months. 

“This is a good time for them, this is what players get up here for, to show what they can do,” Bochy said. “Because of our situation, we’re going to take a look at these guys and we know there are going to be growing pains.”

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 50th loss of the season

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 50th loss of the season

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — The promotion of an intriguing prospect can bring a certain buzz to the ballpark. It didn’t last long. 

The debut of Ryder Jones came in the latest flat performance from the Giants, who collapsed late and fell 5-2 to the Mets. The loss was their 50th of the season. They did not lose their 50th game last season until August 12. 

With the score tied in the eighth, Curtis Granderson crushed a leadoff triple into the alley. Sam Dyson walked the next batter and then whiffed Yoenis Cespedes, but Jay Bruce greeted Steven Okert with an RBI single to right. It kept going poorly from there. 

Here are five things to know from a cool day by the water … 

—- Jones grounded out to second in his first at-bat and then flied out to center, grounded out to first, and grounded out to second. He had one chance in the field, starting a double play that ended the second inning.  

—- Johnny Cueto seems to have turned a corner. Over his past two starts, he has allowed just three earned runs over 14 innings. Whether they trade him or not, the Giants certainly could use a nice little hot streak for the next six weeks. 

—- A few seconds after Bruce Bochy shook Cueto’s hand, Brandon Belt got him off the hook for a loss. He hit the first pitch of the bottom of the seventh into the seats in left-center, tying the game. The homer was Belt’s 14th. He’s on pace for 29. 

—- The Mets got eight one-run innings out of Jacob deGrom, who is quietly the most reliable of a star-studded rotation. He struck out seven and gave up just four hits. 

—- If Madison Bumgarner wants another Silver Slugger Award, he’ll have to chase down deGrom, who hit a homer in his last start. His single in the third was his 10th hit, and he finished the day with a .294 average.