With Spring Training coming to a close, decisions get tougher by the day – none tougher than the impending roster verdict between Nate Schierholtz and Travis Iskikawa.
In the case of Ishikawa, he unfortunately has the pleasure of Brandon Belt looming in the wings. Considering the Giants already arduous roster choice between Ish and Nate, it seems reasonable that Belt will open the year at Fresno. Mark DeRosa can play an “emergency” first base, if you will – so despite Ishikawa’s strong glove – his presence on the team isn’t critical as it would have been even as recently as last season.
Much like Ish, Schierholtz’s importance to the Giants comes in the form of leather. With Andres Torres entrenched in center and Cody Ross in right, the only real option for Nate would be to outplay Burrell and DeRosa for left field duties or to be a late inning defensive sub, which actually is a really nice benefit. Not too many balls would get down with an outfield of Torres, Ross, and Schierholtz.
Personally – I like both guys a lot and would prefer to see neither go as their late inning defensive work is a real luxury, but with the Giants struggling to trade Aaron Rowand – it looks like Nate or Travis will be the un-lucky casualty.
So, put on your GM hat for a moment – what would you do in this situation? Remember that neither player has a minor league option, so that’s out of the question.