No, we don’t have baseball today, as the final tune-up game of the spring was cancelled due to rain. That’s probably a good thing, and here’s two reasons why: 1) The Giants seem to have left their bats in Arizona (not a problem, they’ll be there to pick them up on Monday!). 2) The toilets are overflowing in Oakland. Yeah… Billy Beane, men amongst boys, right? Ok, I shouldn’t knock Billy for that – stuff like that really falls on the owner. But come on! You’ve won two straight division titles, and you can’t even get a fully functioning plumbing system? I know one man who wouldn’t stand for that kind of nonsense… his name is Brian.
Anyway, enough about that. No baseball today, but we do have a finalized 25-man roster! There weren’t any major surprises, but I’ll admit I really wasn’t sure who would get the final bullpen spot (in Jeremy Affeldt’s absence). Turns out it went to JC Gutierrez, who I tagged with a whopping 25% chance of making the Opening Day roster back in February. Just goes to show, you NEVER know what might shake out during spring training. Gutierrez pumps a 95 mph fastball and has big league experience, so he’s the guy for now. The real question is, how long will he last?
No, I wasn’t shocked that Gutierrez got the final spot over Law. I’m not really all that bummed either, to be honest with you. Law has the goods, as he proved to the world over the past month. When he does get to the Show someday, he’ll be a fun one to watch. But he’s never pitched above high-A, and most guys just don’t jump from the California League to the Major Leagues overnight. So Law was assigned to AA this afternoon, which I think surprises me even more than the news of him not making the MLB club. I thought for sure the organization would want him close by in Fresno. Richmond is a long way from the Bay Area, but Sabean has already made it clear that he’d jump a guy straight from AA if he thought the player was ready… so this isn’t a setback for Law in the least.
Speaking of the minor leagues, Conner Penfold apparently has the lowdown on the Giants farm clubs, and has rosters posted for all 4 full-season affiliates over at his site. No official rosters have been released yet, but these definitely look like the real deal. They also make my early spring roster projections look somewhat silly, but I was prepared for that. You can be darn sure I’ll be working on some reaction pieces to those minor league squads in the next couple of days.
Anyway, you shouldn’t be surprised to know that Brandon Hicks and Ehire Adrianza made the Opening Day roster. That was all but settled when Scutaro had another flare-up in his back and Tony Abreu was released. For the record, I gave Hicks a 2 in 10 initial shot at making this club about 6 weeks ago. Silly me. Hitting .400+ will definitely up your odds.
You might have been a little shocked to hear that Abreu is now headed to Fresno. Apparently he cleared waivers last week.
What about that final outfield spot, you ask? Juan Perez had that bad boy locked up three weeks ago. Tyler Colvin is headed to Fresno, while Roger Kieschnick was DFA to make room for one of Hicks or Gutierrez. I wonder if Roger will clear waivers and end up in Fresno too. I honestly couldn’t tell you. But jeez, it just goes to show how quick your window can close. He’s a good athlete, and I think he’ll have a MLB career at some point. How long it lasts, well, that obviously might not be up to him.
So here you go, 25 men to don the orange and black on Monday evening in Phoenix. Take a good, long look at this group. Does it inspire confidence? That’s your call. We all have our own opinions. But I can tell you this… that group will definitely change as we move throughout the season. Heck, it may only look like this for two weeks. We really can’t tell at this point. As long as the core players don’t change (get injured), I think the Giants will be in fine shape. Either way, spring training is over folks, and another regular season is here. We made it!
C (2) Buster Posey, Hector Sanchez
IF (6) Brandon Belt, Joaquin Arias, Brandon Crawford, Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Hicks, Ehire Adrianza
OF (5) Hunter Pence, Angel Pagan, Michael Morse, Gregor Blanco, Juan Perez
SP (5) Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, Tim Hudson, Tim Lincecum, Ryan Vogelsong
RP (7) Yusmeiro Petit, David Huff, JC Gutierrez, Jean Machi, Santiago Casilla, Javier Lopez, Sergio Romo
*From Joe Ritzo: 12 of the 25 are former San Jose Giants. That is so impressive to me. Let the experts put the Giants farm system in the bottom third of the league all they want. When nearly 50% of your MLB roster played at your high-A affiliate, you’re doing something right. The Giants know it, I know it, and you know it. What else is there to say?