With Spring Training in full swing, some actual baseball issues are being discussed and pondered as far as starting jobs and roles on this "new" Giants team.
#1 on the list right now is who's in left?
Having signed Pat Burrell to a 1 year 1 million dollar deal, the Giants have a couple options now at left. Pat the Bat has obvious consideration because of his production there last year with 18 homers coming off of the scrap heap. But the Giants also have to figure out a role for a healthy Mark DeRosa who was signed last year to a 2 year deal to play.... you guessed it.. left field.
DeRosa however has been pegged as a super utility man, and can backup the Panda at 3rd base, Tejada at shortstop and Freddy Sanchez at 2nd as well as spend some time in left field. Any change to this set up would likely happen only if DeRosa shows that he's worthy of an everyday position. The main question would be, is a healthy DeRosa going to be healthy all year? With only 1 year left on his contract I think the Giants can afford to keep him as an expensive utility man without too many complaints from the fans. Also doesn't hurt that he's a great guy to have in the clubhouse and stayed around even through the world series.
Nate Shierholtz is another option for left. Although he's spent almost every game in right field, right now that job is Cody Ross' to lose. After a wonderful postseason where we saw Cody Ross become "Ross is Boss" I don't see how he doesn't get an everyday job in right field. Nate with his defensive prowess, will likely serve as a defensive replacement for Ross, and might spend some time in left as well. Again ladies, please calm down, Nate isn't going anywhere soon, and the Giants still want him around for his defense.
Aaron Rowand has mostly been a center fielder, and Bochy mentioned that he doesn't see Rowand moving to left to get more playing time. With Andres Torres, Rowand wont have a starting position this year, but will have time in center if Torres is hurt or needs rest. If anything I see Rowand being moved at some point this year if nothing pans out for him. A deal is always difficult when you make a bagillion dollars for sitting on the bench, but he's not without suitors (Philly).
Aubrey Huff is a candidate only because we anticipate the Second Coming, i.e. ROY#2 Brandon Belt. Belt had an excellent season last year, and although he will likely start this season in AAA, he is waiting in the wings just as Posey did last year. However Brandon can only play 1st base, and if he is brought up, Huff will be moved to left further clogging up the outfield.
For now the solution is simple. Pat the Bat takes left field, DeRosa serves as super utility, Rowand is Torres' backup, Shierholtz is Ross' backup.
Its a good thing Bochy runs everything by me before he makes roster decisions...
Laws of the Day
Laws of the Field announces that Pat Burrell will be starting left fielder to begin the 2011 season.