It is that time of year again when the boys of summer grab their bats and balls and hit the diamond for another long and exciting season of America’s pastime, good old baseball. Spring training is over and the San Francisco Giants have had a chance to evaluate all of the new players coming up through the minor league ranks.
Many baseball positions involve having great speed and skills at catching the ball, especially in the outfield and the Giants seem to have loaded up on speed and ball skills.
Baseball positions and position players are getting harder and harder to produce as each year goes by and San Francisco has been able to bring up a lot of players from their minor league clubs over the years, including Buster Posey, a phenom at catcher one of the hardest of baseball positions to play. Although Posey was sent back to the minors for more seasoning (and to extend arbitration), he had a fantastic spring training and exhibition season.
For the Giants, finding players to play baseball positions was of paramount importance, especially after last year when they improved quite a bit but were unable to get into the playoffs, even as a wild card contender. They have added Scott DeRosa in the outfield for his speed and defense, but primarily for his power in the middle of the lineup.
Aubrey Huff has also been added for his hitting prowess. Pablo Sandoval, who barely missed getting into the All-Star Game last year, is solid at third base and may even win a Golden Glove this year if he plays up to his potential. Juan Uribe has become the everyday second baseman, at least until Freddy Sanchez comes back off the disabled list.
For the Giants, finding players to fit the baseball positions has not been the only glaring necessity in the off season. They also needed to find some RBIs in the middle of their lineup and for that extra pop they have added DeRosa and the hot-hitting Huff.
They still lack that 100 RBI man, but are hoping that Pablo Sandoval or the powerful Uribe step into that role naturally. Benjie Molina has been signed for a one year contract and is expected to hit at least 15 home runs and provide some power, but his main role is being the field general out there calling the game from behind the catcher’s mask.
San Francisco had another stellar year last year when it came to pitching. Young superstar Tim Lincecum won his second straight Cy Young Award which is awarded to the best pitcher in the league.
Matt Cain had a great season and if Barry Zito can pick up at least 10 wins this year, the Giants could have a great shot at making the playoffs in 2010. Their starting lineup is second to none and they have brought back and expanded their incredible bullpen which features the almost unhittable Jeff Affeldt and closer Brian Wilson.
All in all this promises to be a wild and wonderful season for the Giants and if all the pieces fall in place you may see them late into October.