With February drawing to a close, spring training in Scottsdale in full swing and Cactus League action fast approaching, Bruce Bochy will soon have to select his 25-man-roster, and consequently which infielders he wants for the forthcoming season. The decision is easier said than done, the starting infield seems pretty clear, but which bench players will Bochy select?
Buster Posey Brandon Belt, Marco Scutaro, Brandon Crawford and Pablo Sandoval are definitely going to be pencilled in to start on opening day. The trusty infield, which won the Giants the World Series in 2012, will be looking to bounce back from what was a pretty abysmal campaign. Bochy claimed Sandoval won’t be replaced in the late innings, after his massive weight loss, which will lessen the need for a defensively strong third baseman, and explains why Joaquin Arias is working out at second base.
Joaquin Arias, Tony Abreu, Ehire Adrianza, Nick Noonan and Angel Villalona are looking to win the two spots available on the bench. Arias is the leader of the pack, he will be winning one of the two spots, especially after signing a two year deal, and will once more be the key man off the bench for the Giants in 2014. The final spot isn’t so clear cut, Abreu would seem to be the likely candidate, but Ehire Adrianza has been very impressive thus far in spring training.
Adrianza, the rookie, known more for his glove and defensive expertise has shown some real power in Scottsdale, he even hit a home-run off Yusmeiro Petit during live BP. Sadly, I don’t see Villalona and Noonan challenging for the bench spot unless they have very impressive Cactus League Performance. The final decision will probably be left until after Bochy sees his candidates compete in the Cactus League, but right now, my bet is on Adrianza, he has a magnificent glove and his bat has a lot of potential.