Tuesday, March 27, 2012

San Francisco Giants: A Look at the Projected 2012 Opening Day Lineup

It seems like so long ago now that the team is in Spring Training, but the San Francisco Giants had quite an offseason.

They traded away a promising pitcher in Jonathan Sanchez for speed and offense in Melky Cabrera, and they trade pitching relief and aging speed in Ramon Ramirez and Andres Torres for an iffy Angel Pagan.

The team did all that while hunting for just the right amount of money to lock up their two franchise starting pitchers for several years.  One was locked up, and the other's tenure in San Francisco is still hanging in the balance.


After all that, here is the projected Opening Day lineup for the Giants:

1)  Angel Pagan OF
2)  Melky Cabrera OF
3)  Pablo Sandoval 3B
4)  Buster Posey C
5)  Brandon Belt OF
6)  Aubrey Huff 1B
7)  Brandon Crawford SS
8)  Emmanuel Burris 2B
9)  Pitcher's spot

And what it should look like:

1)  Gregor Blanco OF
2)  Melky Cabrera OF
3)  Pablo Sandoval 3B
4)  Buster Posey C
5)  Brandon Belt OF
6)  Brett Pill 1B
7)  Brandon Crawford SS
8)  Emmanuel Burris 2B
9)  Pitcher's spot

Of course, Freddy Sanchez would assume the No. 2 spot in the batting order once he returns.  For now, it looks like we may be seeing a lot of Burris, who is having a tremendous Spring Training so far.  We should save our judgements about him until after the first week of the season, though, as he has yet to hit consistently when called up to the majors.

Another note is that Pagan should be nowhere near the Giants' Opening Day lineup, given his terrible hitting woes in Spring Training.  He just snapped an 0-24 streak at the plate on Tuesday.  However, his speed and the fact he was a notable offseason acquisition for this team means that he is dead-set to start in the outfield on Opening Day.

The man who should replace him is Gregor Blanco, who has had as good a Spring as any of the Giants.  We can make a great case that Blanco, Hector Sanchez and Cabrera have been the hottest players on the team in Spring Training.

For how many disagreements we all should have with the projected Opening Day lineup, it needs to be understood that this rsoter is so much more apt to putting up runs this season, as compared to last.  Of course, last season's lineup at year's end was historically unimpressive, so adding a healthy Sandoval and Posey mixed with a consistent Cabrera should make this team vastly improved on offense from last season.

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