Throughout the 2011 season, the San Francisco Giants had a constantly changing roster. In fact the only thing that stayed consistent was that Chris Stewart would catch for Tim Lincecum. Which is in fact a whole nother can of worms…
So, since it’s raining here in San Diego and because I’m insanely bored, I decided to speculate a little in who will be starting on April 6th in Phoenix.
My opening day lineup is as follows:
1. Despite the Giants saying that they haven’t decided where to use Melky in the lineup, I think they will try to have him lead off. Playing centerfield at Chase Field is not as roomy as at AT&T Park, making defense not the top priority for Cabrera. With Freddy Sanchez behind him, Cabrera should see good pitches. I’m praying for him to take Ian Kennedy deep on the first pitch he sees.
2. Bochy should have no issue putting Sanchez back into his spot as 2nd in the lineup. Depending on how spring training goes, Sanchez should be rehabbed enough to play his normally tremendous second base.
3. Carlos Beltran- this really depends on whether the Giants can sign Beltran. It sounds like he is going to receive some lucrative offers from teams such as the Boston Red Sox. However, Beltran did play the last half of the season with San Francisco, and he more likely than not, got accustomed to the city, the team, and the park. I do believe the Giants have a slightly above average chance to sign Beltran.
4. Yes I have Posey in here, and not the Panda. I went to a game in Chase Field where Posey hit a homerun while he was batting in the cleanup spot. So it seems smart to let him bat in front of Pablo Sandoval so that Posey can see some better pitches.
5. Pablo Sandoval batted 4th in the order once Carlos Beltran was acquired, and I believe having him behind Beltran AND Posey will increase his RBI chances. Hopefully he shows up healthy at spring training.
6. I’m hoping that Huff can return to his MVP form, or else the Panda is going to get a lot of intentional base on balls, and then Huff is going to bounce out to second. Please Huff Daddy, don’t make me regret putting you behind the Panda.
7. Left field is really the position I’m unsure about. This really depends on whether or not they sign Carlos Beltran. I think Belt’s swing is well suited for Chase Field. Left field is pretty small at Chase Field( I still don’t think Geraldo Parra should’ve won that Gold Glove) so there shouldn’t really be any fielding issues. Also, Belt has spent time in the Dominican League playing outfield so he will hopefully be very ready for the 2012 season.
8. Although he’s been doing well in the Arizona Fall League, Bochy will probably bat the crawfish low in the order. Plus I really only care about his glove. ?
9. If I have to explain why a Two-Time Cy Young award winner is your opening day pitcher… Then I’m very disappointed.
However, everything changes if the Giants do not sign Carlos Beltran. That opens up the right field position to Nate Schierholtz. Although many people have speculated about Carlos Beltran playing left field, I’m not sure if that will work… Also, we still do not know if Cody Ross will sign for less money. We will see!