Friday, April 6, 2012

Opening Day Notes

2010 seems a distant memory doesn't it?

The Giants look to get back on top and start off with the 2011 NL West Champs the Arizona Diamondbacks. After their Division crown, the Diamondbacks have only gotten better with some key signings highlighted by the signing of Trevor Cahill to shore up their starting rotation which is already full of young talent.

Meanwhile the Giants seem to have just as many questions as answers.

Here are some things you might want to look for today on Opening Day in Phoenix

1. Tim Lincecum's fastball control

Timmy being the opening day starter has had trouble all spring locating his fastball and keeping it down. Just in case you were wondering, a fastball that comes in high and in the zone get smoked for home runs, and in Arizona, those balls don't come down til they're in Tucson. A key for Timmy today will be to locate that fastball early and find his rhythm. He also wont be using his slider for the first part of the year which makes the fastball that much more important

2. Buster Posey's endurance

No one wants to overwork Buster on the first game of the year and with him sitting in the catcher's crouch you can bet the coaching staff will be very conservative with how much Buster plays in game 1. At this point whatever Buster can do with the bat is gravy, I just want to see him get used to a full game and see how he responds to the usual grind of the baseball season.

3. Speed at the Top of the Order

Angel Pagan and Melky Cabrera have been touted this year along with Buster as the saviors of the offense. A tandem at the top of the order that will infuse speed on the basepaths and a high on base percentage. Look to see what they do when they get on base, and whether you see Bochy send them in key situations. If the Giants are going to change their MO as a station to station team, its gonna start now. With Gregor Blanco making the opening day roster, we even have him as a speedy pinch runner.

4. Brandon Belt's Bat

With Brandon Belt at 1st and Aubrey Huff in Left Field, the lineup is considerably stronger... on paper... Last year we saw what Brandon could do with the bat early, but he quickly disappeared and was sent back down to AAA. This year look to see what Belt's progress will be with a more solidified spot in the lineup and an everyday role. Brett Pill may share some of the load being a right handed hitter, but Belt is your 1st baseman of the future so lets see what he can do.

All that being said, its nice to finally have real baseball back. Here's to 162-0! Cheers!

Laws of the Day

Ian Kennedy is the Diamondbacks opening day starter and had a 21-4 record with a 2.88 ERA last year.

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