For now, I am going to assume that this means the Giants will only make non-roster invites to some pitchers, see who sticks, and then maybe make a trade if they need to in order to jerry-rig the roster to keep it under the magical $197 million threshold.
All we can say for certain at this point: the Giants are better.
Their defense is better.
They are older, but better.
That’s some sweet, sweet analysis there.
We’ll take a deeper dive into if and how all these moves translate to more wins on the field later this week, but for now let’s take a spin through some lineups.
Grant suggests this will be what the Giants roll out most of the time:
- Jackson CF
- Belt 1B
- McCutchen RF
- Posey C
- Longoria 3B
- Crawford SS
- Pence RF
- Panik 2B
I would humbly submit that this is not the right answer.
Maybe something like this:
- Panik 2B (I am totally ok with, and personally committed to, the idea of Joe Panik, leadoff hitter)
- McCutchen RF (I know McCutchen is not the prototype 2-hole hitter, but he may be the best overall hitter on this team, had a .400 OBP once he got going over the final 4 months of 2017, and this is 2018, Giancarlo Stanton hit second last year and he is definitely NOT A PROTOTYPICAL 2-HOLE HITTER)
- Posey C (In no world would I ever hit Posey anywhere but 2 or 3 from this point on. He is not a clean up hitter, and his strengths [putting the ball in play, going to the opposite field, getting on base] play way better from a top third spot then a middle third spot. You will hear my groan from Utah if Bochy still hits him clean up in 2018).
- Belt 1B (I know many Giants fans are going to have a hard time with this and if Belt struggles at all early on and if the Giants struggle at all early on it will all come heaping down on Belt. That being said I think this is a great spot for him. He’s got two great hitters in front of him. He’s got the most powerful guy in the lineup behind him. Belt is not a bottom of the lineup RBI-monster like Crawford. I really think that 500+ ABs here gets Belt the most robust numbers of his career. Take advantage!)
- Longoria 3B (The Giants have not had a truly trustworthy, home run hitter this low in their lineup since Pat Burrell in 2010. I love Longoria hitting here, cleaning up, pun intended).
- Crawford SS (First, I am expecting a nice bounce back season for Crawford. Second, he has never been intimidated by being the guy in the bottom half of the lineup to take the scraps. He’s led the Giants in RBIs before by being a master at hitting in these spots. They seem to suit him. Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke).
- Pence LF (I know there are some lineups being floated out there that have Pence leading off. Don’t bother. Let him loose here in the bottom third, with the pressure off, and pray for a rebound).
- Jackson CF (This is the ideal spot for Austin Jackson. He doesn’t walk a lot. He doesn’t hit for enough power to be higher. He’s not a rookie, so he doesn’t need to be finessed into a lineup spot. He’s a place holder and a nice insurance policy this low in the lineup. He may hit leadoff against a couple lefties, and that’s fine, but let him sit back here, expand his zone, and get some steals when a pitcher fails to bunt him over).
One final thought. None of this should be taken as an indictment on Steven Duggar. I have a feeling we will see him and that he will make an impact on 2018.
So far, so good Giants.