The Giants have been cutting the players from their squad over the past couple of months. The beginning of the season in April saw a trimmed down roster of just 26 players, shocking when you remember they started with 74 players in big league camp. And further cuts are expected as the season and progresses into summer.
First up let’s look at the catchers. Curt Casali and Buster Posey look ready to don their catcher’s mitts but as ever there are some concerns about Buster Posey’s fitness levels. He has recently undergone hip surgery and is expected to play the full season but whether or not he will stay fit, is anyone’s guess right now.
The number one choice for First Base is Brandon Belt but the 32 year old has had surgery for bone spurs and may still have fitness issues going forward. This is not such a big issue for the Giants as there are plenty of alternatives on the bench including Wilmer Flores, Tommy La Stella, Darin Ruf and Jason Vosler. Whatever happens, Brandon Belt is the first choice for the position even if he has to spend some of the season on the subs bench.
Second base sees Dominic Solvano in position. He is match fit and raring to go so fingers crossed he will be back in the team and on form, knocking them out of the park, same as he did last season.
Third base goes to Evan Longoria. This 35 year old veteran has been troubled by a reoccurring foot injury so the Giants are playing him in defence. This season will be the first time that Longoria has played in this position but with such a quality player we can see no reason why he should not bring his experience and power to this position
Shortstop goes to Brandon Crawford. He is in the final year of his contract and the Giants are counting on him to stay fit as they lack alternative options for this position.
There are a few choices for the outfield players. Mike Yastrzemski, Alex Dickerson, Mauricio Dubón, Austin Slater, Darin Ruf and LaMonte Wade Jr are the most likely candidates. So far there is no clue to who will start first but having extra manpower does cut some slack when it comes to injuries.
The two utility players are bound to be called in this season, in view of the likelihood of injuries. Tommy La Stella, Wilmer Flores and Jason Vosler are likely to be called into action depending on injuries elsewhere.
Starting pitchers are likely to include Kevin Gausman, Johnny Cueto, Anthony DeSclafani, Alex Wood and Aaron Sanchez with Logan Webb, Scott Kazmir, with Nick Tropeano and Shun Yamaguchi also standing by. According to Coach Gabe Kapler, this wealth of players offers some great rotation options for starting pitcher.
As ever there is plenty of competition for the relievers’ positions including Jake McGee, Matt Wisler, Jarlín García, José Álvarez, Tyler Rogers, Reyes Moronta, Nick Tropeano and Scott Kazmir. Other possibilities include Wandy Peralta, Sam Selman, Silvino Bracho, Dominic Leone, Zack Littell, Shun Yamaguchi, James Sherfy and Caleb Baragar. So far the competition is wide open for these positions with these tough decisions likely to come down to the wire.
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