Countdown to Spring Training: No. 3, Bullpen
The Giants have preferred to go with a seven-man bullpen, so we’re basing these projections on that assumption. There’s a scenario that they go with a six-pitcher pen (but that’s a blog post for another day).
Six spots in the pen are virtual locks.
RH Brian Wilson
RH Sergio Romo
RH Santiago Casilla
RH Ramon Ramirez
LH Jeremy Affeldt
LH Javier Lopez
So barring injury, that leaves one spot left.
The front-runner to gain that spot is RH Guillermo Mota, who signed a minor-league deal in the offseason. LH Dan Runzler is also a candidate, but there has been offseason talk about the Giants sending Runzler to Fresno to convert him into a starter.
RH Jeff Suppan is the emergency option for a rotation spot if someone runs into injury issues. He could make the team as a long reliever/spot starter if he pitches well in the spring.
RH Elmer Dessens is another possibility to fill that spot. Dessens signed a minor-league deal last week after pitching most recently in Japan. MoreSplashHits considers Dessens a candidate to going to Fresno to start the season, more so than Suppan, who would like reject a minor-league assignment and look for another MLB job.
And then there’s the possibility that some younger arm impresses the Giants this spring.