With baseball season days away, it’s time to look at the Giants’ lineup. The last few years have been up and down, to say the least. From a World Series win to being fourteen games back from the playoffs, anything is possible this year. CBS Sports has reported that the team is going largely unchanged, which means another title will be all about strategy and determination. Still, it’s important (and fun) to take a look at the lineup and make some observations.
The starting lineup at the top of the season looks like it will be…
- Angel Pagan – Center Field
- Marco Scutaro – Second Base
- Brandon Belt – First Base
- Buster Posey – Catcher
- Hunter Pence – Right Field
- Pablo Sandoval – Third Base
- Michael Morse – Left Field
- Brandon Crawford – Short Stop
On the bench will be Sanchez, Arias, Abreu, Blanco, and Perez, one of whom may wind up replacing Scutaro in the lineup because of his persistent back troubles. Regardless, the lineup is still strong. We’ve got big hitters, big runners – absolutely capable of success on paper.
For pitchers, we’ve got a probable rotation…
- Madison Bumgarner – lefty
- Matt Cain
- Tim Lincecum
- Tim Hudson
- Ryan Vogelsong
The top of the lineup is solid, considering Cain’s comeback at the end of last season. Lincecum, Hudson, and Vogelsong, however, are wild cards. It won’t be clear until the season is underway what kind of year they’ll be having. With injuries and inconsistency, it’s going to be game to game for a while.
What the team really has going for it is their history together. This squad, more or less, has brought home two national titles. It’s an experienced squad, but still young – the oldest players are 29. And there’s still plenty of well-earned star power. The word on the street is that fans can expect this year to be much better than last year. There are no crushing problems with injuries going into the season. Even with a chancy pitching rotation, the strength of the offense should keep us in contention.
That said, the National League West has become a very difficult division, with Los Angeles – how it pains me to say this! – looking very tough to beat. With that in mind, it’s likely I’ll be blogging about hoping for a wildcard slot in the late summer. As I mentioned before, it’s going to take strategy and leadership to make the difference this year. My hope is that managers Bruce Bochy and Brian Sabean are up to the challenge.