Countdown to Spring Training: No. 7, Staying healthy

We’ve run into a logjam on our countdown to spring training. So MoreSplashHits needs to play a little catch-up on our list of things to consider as the Giants prepare for the 2011 season.

During the offseason, the pundits have commented that one of the keys to the Giants’ success in 2010 was avoiding injuries.

And while the Giants didn’t have a key injuries to their top stars, the 2010 season was not devoid of pain.

But the real key for the Giants was finding key players to step up when they did suffer injuries.

Consider these 2010 injuries to potential opening day starters: OF Aaron Rowand (broken jaw), 2B Freddy Sanchez (shoulder surgery kept him out to late May), SS Edgar Renteria (assorted injuries kept him on DL more than not), OF Mark DeRosa (season-ending wrist surgery in June), and OF Andres Torres (appendectomy in September).

But the Giants found quality replacements for these players: OF Andres Torres (for Rowand), 2B-SS Juan Uribe (for Sanchez and later for Renteria), C-1B Buster Posey (who played 1B, sending Aubrey Huff to LF for DeRosa), OF Pat Burrell (for DeRosa) and OF Cody Ross (for Torres).

And in the bullpen, when lefties Jeremy Affeldt and Dan Runzler got hurt, the Giants added Javier Lopez.

While you can never predict injuries, there are some injury issues to watch this spring.

Freddy Sanchez: Sanchez had a clean-up surgery on his shoulder in the offseason. The Giants have said the procedure would put Sanchez two weeks behind his teammates in preparation for the 2011 season. With setbacks, that could put opening day in jeopardy. But Sanchez has said he only expects to be limited for the first week of spring training, and should be in spring training games by early March.

Mark DeRosa: DeRosa was hitting off a tee by the postseason last fall after his June surgery to fix his previous procedure, which he called a complete failure. He should be ready to go this spring. But with two wrist surgeries in less than a year, fans will want to keep a close eye on DeRosa.

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