Wednesday, April 4, 2012

San Francisco Giants: Who's In and Who's Out of the Team's Opening Day Roster?

For the first time in a while, the San Francisco Giants had trouble deciding who to start the season in San Francisco and who to send elsewhere.

A few notable names were wavering on the border of the Opening Day roster, but others seemed to be pure locks to start in the Orange and Black when the MLB starts its 2012 season.

Here are the final results for notable players who made or did not make the Giants Opening Day roster.

Brandon Belt—IN

All indications point to Belt starting at either first base or left field for the Giants on Opening Day, but the organization is still not happy with the progress in the mechanics of his swing.  He will start the season in San Francisco, but do not be surprised to see him make a stint or two in Fresno before the season concludes.

Gregor Blanco—IN

He was far too consistent in spring training for him not to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster.  He will become the fourth outfielder once the season begins.

Joaquin Arias —OUT

For how well he played in spring training, Bruce Bochy may consider leaning toward Ryan Theriot becoming the backup utility infielder to start the season.  Arias is right on the cusp of the major leagues, so it will not take long to see him make his Giants debut in 2012.

Chris Stewart—OUT

It turns out Bochy did not go with a roster consisting of three catchers.  As expected if he chose to carry two catchers, Stewart was the odd man out, and he was dealt to the New York Yankees on Wednesday for right-hander George Kontos.

Eli Whiteside—OUT

Same deal here.  Whiteside's knowledge of the Giants pitching staff gave him a good chance of making the team's Opening Day roster.  However, that was not the case, as he was optioned to AAA-Fresno on Wednesday and the team went with Hector Sanchez as the backup catcher.

Brett Pill—IN

The surplus of first basemen is an issue Bochy must address quickly, as Belt, Aubrey Huff and Pill are all competing for two spots: first base and left field.  

Since recent reports have Belt starting the season at first base, it was a moderate surprise to see Pill make the Opening Day roster for the Giants.  He will play first base and the outfield when certain situations call for it.

Hector Sanchez—IN

Even with the Giants carrying Stewart and Whiteside on the roster this far into the offseason, Sanchez became the man to backup Buster Posey on the Opening Day roster.  

He had a terrific spring, so it was just a small surprise that we saw him make the Opening Day roster.  San Francisco had to make a decision about its catching situation for the future, and Sanchez is surely a part of that.

He is likely to get a good amount of time behind the dish this season, as Posey still looks to be needing days off to play first base at point this season.

Emmanuel Burriss—IN

The Giants did not have a choice here.  

Freddy Sanchez will start the season on the DL with no timetable for his return, and Burriss has been one of the best players for the Giants in spring training.  We can expect him to be at second base for a good portion of this season.

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