February 2012

Morning report 2/29: Giants plan to be off and running

Nate Schierholtz is looking to make stolen bases more part of his game in 2012. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

The Giants are committed to get more aggressive on the basepaths in 2012. And that doesn’t just involve the addition of Angel Pagan and Melky Cabrera near the top of the lineup.

The coaching staff has been stressing the running game this spring.

“Running the bases is something we’ve done more than anytime in my life,” Brandon Belt told Henry Schulman of the Chronicle. “They made it clear on the first day this is something they want to improve upon. There’s a lot more effort going into it.”

The Giants stole 85 bases in 2011, ranking 13th in the National League. To make matters worse, four of the top five base-stealing teams in the NL were from the NL West.

To make matters even more worse, the Giants base-stealing percentage of 63 percent ranked 15th in the NL.

One player the Giants would like to see attempt more steals is outfielder Nate Schierholtz.

“By the time I leave here, I plan to make the stolen base part of my game,” Schierholtz told CSNBayArea.com’s Andrew Baggarly. To read more about the thievery attempts of Schierholtz, click here.

But this spring’s focus is about more than stealing bases. It’s about beating out infield hits, stretching singles into doubles, going from first to third.

While the Giants are on the run this spring, one Giants who has not been a big part of those drills is Buster Posey.

While running the bases has been part of Posey’s rehab from last season’s ankle injury, he has yet to run all-out and make hard cuts on the bases.

Because of that, the Giants are debating whether or not to have Posey start in Saturday’s spring training opener against the Rockies.

THIS AND THAT

  • BRETT PILL: The San Jose Mercury News and CSNBayArea.com featured Brett Pill in their coverage Tuesday. Pill is battling for a roster spot and took some grounders at third base. He’ll also see time at second base and left field as the Giants assess his versatility. Although he’s a right hander with some pop — something that appears to be lacking on the Giants bench — he remains a dark-horse candidate to make the club, as he still has minor-league options. Players like Emmanuel Burriss, Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot would need to be released if Pill makes the club, or (gasp!) Brandon Belt would need to open the season in the minors. To read more on Pill, see the Mercury News or CSNBayArea.com reports.
  • JOE PANIK Alex Pavolic of the Mercury News had an interesting blog post on infield prospect Joe Panik. Apparently, the Giants still consider him a shortstop prospect, even though previous reports had him slotted as a second baseman. And he got rave reviews from Felipe Alou. To read more, click here.
  • BACK IN ACTION: Two players hindered by sore backs returned to the field Tuesday. Pitcher Ryan Vogelsong threw for a second straight day without problems. It’s good news but the pitcher will need to avoid any setbacks if he wants to remain on pace on be ready for season. Also, Freddy Sanchez took some grounders a day after sitting out with back problems.

Morning report: No fear for The Beard

San Francisco Giants' Brian Wilson during a spring training baseball workout Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

MoreSplashHits is launching something new today, providing a roundup of each day’s news from Giants spring training with links and commentary.

Monday’s news focused on pitchers providing optimistic reports (are there any other kinds of reports in late February?), including Tim Lincecum, Brian Wilson, Dan Runzler and Ryan Vogelsong.

We’ll start with The Beard.

WILSON: Wilson admitted earlier this spring that he pitched through pain through most of 2011. It started early in spring training with a hip injury that eventually lead to the Giants closer opening the season on the disabled list. It ended with Wilson’s season effectively ending in mid-August with elbow problems.

So the Giants are taking a conservative approach this spring with Wilson. He’s not scheduled to pitch in a spring training game until at least March 11. But Wilson says that won’t keep him from being ready for the season opener on April 6.

“If there’s a save opportunity on Opening Day, I’ll be saving the game,” Wilson declared Monday.

For more on The Beard, check out Andrew Baggarly’s report on CSNBayArea.com.

LINCECUM: The Freak faced hitters for the first time this spring and rated the workout an 8.5 out of 10. Lincecum did not allow a ball to leave the infield while facing prospects Connor Gillaspie, Justin Christian, Andrew Sugac and Francisco Peguero. Bochy said Lincecum is on pace to pitch the Giants spring opener on Saturday.

RUNZLER: The left-handers has come to camp looking to tap into the potential the Giants were excited about since making a rapid rise through the ranks in 2009.

But injury and an inability to consistently throw strikes have hurt Runzler’s development. He dislocated his knee while swinging and missing during his first major league at-bat in 2010. The Giants dabbled with the idea of converting Runzler into a starting pitcher in 2011, but that idea appears to have been scrubbed. Finally, Runzler pulled a lat muscle in last season’s final game.

Now, he’s facing long odds of making the opening day roster, but is still working toward that goal. For more, see Baggarly’s report.

THIS AND THAT

  • Ryan Vogelsong, whose start to camp has been delayed by a back issue, threw from flat ground Monday and felt “really, really good.” He may throw again Tuesday.
  • 2B Freddy Sanchez developed lower back stiffness Monday. Manager Bruce Bochy called it a “hiccup.” But any hiccup with Sanchez this spring will cause Giants fans to hold THEIR breath.
  • C Buster Posey, who looks good in facing live pitching in batting practice for the first time over the weekend, got Monday off. All part of his spring rehab plan.

Can the Giants afford to pay both Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum?

Barry Zito, right, walks in with Tim Lincecum to Giants spring training. Zito could factor into the Giants signing Lincecum and Matt Cain to long-term deals. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Matt Cain or Tim Lincecum? That seems to be the million dollar question for the Giants this spring. Can they afford both?

Many believe the answer is no. Eric Byrnes and John Hart said as much last month when Tim Lincecum signed his two-year, $40.5 million deal.

General manager Brian Sabean said yes.

“We’ll have enough wherewithal in the budget to sign both players,” Sabean said in early February.

But how can this be, when Cain and Lincecum could end up costing the Giants $50 million a season, or more?

Well, let’s call it the Zito/Rowand Factor.

For the past four seasons and into 2012, the Giants have spent at least $30 million a season for Barry Zito and Aaron Rowand and received little in return. In 2013, that figure will drop to $20 million (just Zito). In 2014, it will just be Zito’s $7 million buyout.

If the Giants can afford to spend more than $64 million on Zito, Lincecum, Cain and Rowand in 2012, they can afford to give Cain as much as $22 million in 2013 with Rowand’s $12 million coming off the board. In 2014, Zito’s contract comes off the board.

So, the Giants should easily be able to sign Lincecum and Cain for less than $64 million a season.

Not only that, but other contracts come off the board after 2012. Aubrey Huff ($10 million), Freddy Sanchez ($6 million), Jeremy Affledt ($5 million), Angel Pagan ($6 million) and Melky Cabrera ($4.85 million) are among the Giants who will be eligible for free agency after this season.

But there are other factors. Brian Wilson is eligible for his final year of arbitration in 2013. Buster Posey will be arbitration-eligible in 2013. Madison Bumgarner also could possibly join him. Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla are also arbitration-eligible.

Cain said on Saturday that he want to settle on a contract extension by the start of the season and is seeking “fair value.”

But what is fair value?

The Giants reportedly offered Lincecum a five-year, $100 million offer, which he rejected before agreeing to the two-year, $40.5 million deal.

MoreSplashHits thinks that offer was more designed for Cain than Lincecum. The Giants offered it knowing Lincecum would turn it down. Then they could turn and make a similar offer to Cain.

The fact that Cain hasn’t nibbled yet indicates he could be seeking more — perhaps along the lines of the five-year, $120 million deal Cliff Lee got from the Phillies last year.

Baseball America ranks Giants’ prospects

San Francisco Giants pitcher Hector Correa ranks No. 14 among Giants prospects according to Baseball America (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Baseball America released its top 100 prospects for 2012. These rankings are for any player who has not exceeded 130 major-league at-bats or 50 innings pitched or 30 appearanches.

There is but one Giants prospect on this list — outfielder Gary Brown, who came in at No. 38. The Giants would have had two, but they traded pitcher Zach Wheeler to the Mets last season for Carlos Beltran. Wheeler came in at No. 35.

For what it’s worth, the Giants had two players on this list in 2011 — 1B Brandon Belt at No. 23 and Wheeler at No. 55. In 2010, they had four — C Buster Posey (No.7), SP Madison Bumgarner (No. 14), Wheeler (No. 49) and OF Thomas Neal (No. 96).

Here are the top Giants prospects in 2012 according to Baseball America.

1. OF Gary Brown

2. C/1B Tommy Joseph

3. RHP Heath Hembree

4. SS/2B Joe Panik

5. OF Francisco Peguero

6. C Andrew Sugac

7. LHP Erik Surkamp

8. RHP Kyle Crick

9. SS Ehire Adrianza

10. C Hector Sanchez

Others of note: 11, 2B Charlie Culberson; 12, 1B Brett Pill; 13, 3B Conor Gillaspie; 14, RHP Hector Correa; 16, 3B Chris Dominugez.

Bruce Bochy comes to senses, says Angel Pagan will leadoff

Lotus Belle-Glo gets an autograph from San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy during a spring training baseball workout Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

The 2012 San Francisco Giants lineup started to take shape Friday after the team’s first full workout of the spring.

Manager Bruce Bochy said Angel Pagan will be his primary leadoff hitter and center fielder, with Melky Cabrera playing in left field. Nate Schierholtz appears to be the front-runner in right field, but the Giants are staying “open minded”, Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com reported.

Well, let’s first address the leadoff and center field issues by saying “Pheeeewww!”

There had been reports out earlier this month that Bochy was playing with the option of having Cabrera leadoff.

Pagan is the better option, even though he doesn’t walk as much as we’d like. He’s a career .279 hitter with a .331 OBP. But he has stolen an average of 34.5 bases a season each of the past two years, and only be caught an average of 8.0 times. Cabrera brings similar batting numbers, career .275 AVG with a .331 OBP, but he hasn’t stolen more than 20 bases in a season. Also, Pagan is a better defensive center fielder, despite a bevy of errors last season. Cabrera should see time there as a backup.

But if Pagan is in center and Cabrera in right, who else but Schierholtz could play right? Aubrey Huff? Please! No!

We’ve seen that before, and it was not pretty. The Giants said they expect Huff to play more in the outfield, opening up first base for Brandon Belt. But if that’s the case, please let it be in left field, where Huff is much less of a liability.

And while Cabrera is versatile enough to play right, AT&T Park’s right field is a challenge. We’re sure most Giants fans would be happy to Nate the Great manning Triple’s Alley in 2012.

So if Cabrera’s in left, Pagan in center and Schierholtz in right, where does that leave Huff and Belt?

Huff and Belt both worked out at first base, along with Brett Pill, during Friday’s first full team workout. But the Giants have talked about Huff playing more outfield in 2012.

Despite these early spring declarations, MoreSplashHits remains convinced that Bochy will mix and match lineups in 2012. Why? Partly necessity, partly because that’s what Bochy does. He’ll play the hot hand, play matchups.

Weighty issues facing the Giants this spring

San Francisco Giants' Pablo Sandoval reacts while taking infield practice during a spring training baseball workout Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

It used to be that every player showed up to spring training out of shape. Then they’d spend six weeks whipping themselves into playing shape.

But those days are long gone. Most players these days spend the offseason sticking to a steady offseason workout regimen. Spring training is about refining their hitting, fielding and pitching skills.

Still, several Giants reported to camp this season and discussed (whether they wanted to or not) about their weight. In some cases, their weight kept them from reporting to camp. Here’s where how some Giants are doing in the battle against the bulge.

PABLO SANDOVAL: Yes, Sandoval’s weight is making news. And he may be getting tired talking about it. But what do you expect when your nickname is “Kung Fu Panda?” Sandoval broke in with the Giants as a lovable round rookie in 2008 and made a big splash in 2009, earning the nickname from Barry Zito (Zito’s greatest contribution as a Giant). But the pounds kept coming in 2010 and production dropped off, eventually earning Sandoval a spot on the bench as the Giants made their postseason run. Sandoval rededicated himself that offseason, losing 38 pounds. The slimmer Panda was the most productive Giants with the bat in 2011, even after missing six weeks with a broken bone in his hand. No one seemed to care as he added 10-20 pounds by season’s end. Sandoval will step on the scales Thursday, but doesn’t seem to care about the number. He spent the winter again working out in Arizona. Manager Bruce Bochy raised concerns about Sandoval’s weight a couple weeks ago, not coincidentally right about the time Sandoval signed a three-year, $17 million contract. But the skipper seemed less concerned when Sandoval arrived in cap. As long as The Panda hits and fields third base, it doesn’t really matter what his weight is.

AUBREY HUFF: Huff arrived at camp looking lean after spending the winter working out in Arizona and resuming the Pilates workouts that he did prior to the 2010 season when he hit .290 and belted 26 home runs. The Giants suggested that Huff was out of shape when he arrived at camp last spring, leading to a 2011 season in which he hit .246 and 12 homers. Huff worked himself into shape this winter because the Giants are considering playing him in left field, preferring to let Brandon Belt focus on first base. Last season, Huff looked lost in the offseason. It’s something to watch this spring.

ANGEL VILLALONA: One Giant prospect not in camp is Angel Villalona. Villalona hasn’t played baseball in two years after dealing with legal issues in the Dominican Republic. He has not been issued a visa to enter the U.S. because his visa requires him to be an “elite athlete.” Apparently, Villalona’s weight and other health issues have prevented him from earning that distinction. The Giants hope the delay is only temporary. In the meantime, he’ll continue to work out at the Giants’ Dominican facility.

BRIAN WILSON: The Giants closer said he lost 10 to 15 pounds in the offseason as he concentrated on more cardio exercising than weightlifting. Wilson said that his devotion to weightlifting last offseason may have contributed to his elbow problems that shortened his 2011. But more than that, he said it had more to do with the Giants deep postseason run of 2010 and the shortened offseason.

TIM LINCECUM: You wouldn’t generally think of The Freak and weight issues. The right-hander ended the 2010 season at 160 pounds. Thinking he needed to add bulk to aid his durability, he added 15 pounds that offseason. Normally, the pounds start to come off during the season. But last season, his weight jumped to 187, fueled by a steady diet of In-N-Out’s Double-Doubles. His weight eventually went to 196 pounds by last October. “I wore a lot of sweats that month.” Sparked by teasing from his father, Lincecum spent much of this offseason swimming and avoiding junk food. Lincecum reported to camp at 175 pounds. “I’m not crushing vegtables by any means, but I am eating a lot better.”

Predicted NL West finish, based on Vegas odds

Betting website betvega.com released its updated odds for teams to win the World Series and NL pennant (AL pennant, too; but who cares about the AL).

This definitely needs to be filed in the “for what it’s worth” category. Odds are based on the number of wagers made on a particular club. The Giants tend to fare well because there are more Giants fans than Diamondbacks fans, and the Giants are still feeding off their 2010 World Series title (although that carry-over didn’t help the Cardinals much, whose odds to repeat are at 25-to-1).

The Giants 16-to-1 odds to win the World Series is surpassed by only one National League club — the Phillies at 11-to-2 — and six teams overall (Phillies 11/2, Angels 13/2, Yankees 13/2, Tigers 8/1, Rangers 10/1 and Red Sox 10/1). The Giants’ 8-to-1 odds to win NL pennant is only surpassed by the Phillies and matched by the Miami Marlins.

So here is the predicted order of finish in the NL West based on odds to win the World Series and NL Pennant

1. San Francisco Giants 16/1 — 8/1

2. Arizona Diamondbacks 25/1 — 12/1

3. Colorado Rockies 35/1 — 16/1

4. Los Angeles Dodgers 40/1 — 20/1

5. San Diego Padres 100/1 — 45/1

Ten prospects to watch this spring in Giants camp

Ehire Adrianza, right, works out with Brandon Crawford at Giants spring training. Adrianza is a prospect to watch this spring.

Pitchers and catchers report to spring training this weekend for the Giants. So we thought it would be a good time to run a list of 10 young players in camp that you should keep an eye on.

Now these are players who are unlikely to break camp with the big club, but could be contributing either later this year or sometime else in the future.

These aren’t necessarily the 10 best prospects. Just players you should watch for one reason or another.

Of course, the one player missing from this list is pitcher Zach Wheeler, who would have been the Giants’ top-rated prospect if he weren’t traded to the Mets last season for Carlos Beltran. Sigh.

GARY BROWN, OF: The Giants consider Brown their center fielder and leadoff hitter of the future. The 2010 first-round pick has an impressive first season with the organization, hitting .336 with 14 HR, 80 RBI, 53 SBs and a .407 OBP for Class A San Jose. Brown will get a challenge in the pitcher-friendly Double-A Eastern League, but don’t be surprised to see him in Fresno this summer and in San Francisco by late season.

FRANCISCO PEGUERO, OF: Peguero is a 23-year-old outfielder who doesn’t walk much, but doesn’t strikeout much either. He’s hit at .300 at every level in the minors, including hitting .309 in 285 at-bats at Double-A Richmond last season. A knee injury prior to last season slowed his progress a bit. But we should expect him in Fresno this season and he may be the first option to get called up this season.

HEATH HEMBREE, RP: Hembree is the No. 1 pitching prospect in the Giants’ farm system, even with just one full season in the minors. Hembree had a 1.86 ERA and 38 saves in 54 games for Class A San Jose and Double-A Richmond. His numbers dropped off a little in his move up in the ranks, but were still solid. ERA rose from 0.73 to 2.83, his strikeout rate dropped from 16.1 to 10.7. But his WHIP was basically the same (1.135 to 1.151). However his walk rate of 4.2 in 2011 was a bit high. It will be interesting to see how he fares in camp this season. We’d expect him in Fresno this fall.

ERIC SURKAMP, LP: Surkamp was lights-out at Double-A Richmond last season, going 10-4 with 2.02 ERA, 10.4 K-rate, 1.082 WHIP in 22 starts. He got called up to help out the big club in September and had mixed results. The Giants determined he needed more seasoning in the minors. So we can expect him to open the season at Triple-A, but to be the first option if the Giants need to fill a void in the rotation (although there are other options). He could compete for a rotation spot in 2013.

TOMMY JOSEPH, C: The Giants have a ton of talented catchers in their farm system who could provide the team with some flexibility if they decide to eventually move Buster Posey out from behind the plate. Joseph, who was drafted out of high school in 2009, had an impressive season for Class A San Jose in 2011 (22 HRs, 95 RBI, .270). He is 20 years old. They also have Hector Sanchez, 22, who hit 12 HRs, 84 RBI and .285 between San Jose and Triple-A Fresno. And they have Andrew Susac, who was drafted in the second round in 2011 out of Oregon State and didn’t play in 2011 as he was recovering from a broken wrist.

CONOR GILASPIE, 3B: The former first-round pick in 2008 had his best pro season last year for Triple-A Fresno (11 HR, 61 RBI, .297 AVG, .389 OBP). He has the plate discipline that the Giants need in the lineup. But he’s a third baseman so his path to the majors is blocked by Pablo Sandoval. He did dabble at LF and 1B last season.

EHIRE ADRIANZA, SS: Adrianza has a major-league glove at shortstop, but a minor-league bat. But the switch-hitting 22-year-old showed some signs of hope at the plate in 2011, hitting .300 with a .375 OBP in 56 games at Class A San Jose. He must continue to develop that part of his game if he’s going to be factor above a defensive utility man in the majors.

JOE PANIK, 2B-SS: Most folks felt Panik was a reach for the Giants in the first round of the 2011 draft. But Panik rewarded the Giants by leading the short-season Class A Northwest League in hitting. He hit 6 HRs, 54 RBI, .341 AVG and .401 OBP after quickly signing following the June draft. He played shortstop last season, but the Giants view him more as a second baseman and he could be in the mix as a replacement for Freddy Sanchez, who will be a free agent after the 2012 season.

CHARLIE CULBERSON, 2B: As the Giants consider possible replacements for Freddy Sanchez at 2B, Culberson is among the candidates. Drafted in the first round out of high school in 2007, the Giants have waited for his bat to develop. He appeared to make progress for Class A San Jose in 2010, hitting .290. But his average took a hit with the move to Double-A in 2011 (.259 AVG, .293 OBP). When he puts the ball in play, he has success. But he had 129 Ks to 22 BBs in 587 plate appearances in 2011. That must change.

ANGEL VILLALONA, 1B: Once considered the top prospect in the Giants’ farm system, Villalona’s path to the majors was derailed when he was a suspect in a fatal bar shooting in the Dominican Republic in September 2009. The charges were eventually dropped amid reports that Villalona paid a $139,000 to the victim’s family. But now he hasn’t played professionally in more than two years. Signed in 2006 as a power-hitting first baseman, Villalona is now 21 and the Giants need to figure out where he stands with his development. He hit 31 HRs and 144 RBI in 254 minor-league games between 2007-09, none above high Class A. We’d expect him to return to Class A in 2012. The Giants to seem him in camp by later this week, but at last report he still needed to complete the final steps of the process to get him a work visa through the US Immigration Service.

New faces in Giants camp this spring

Ryan Theriot is one of the new Giants on the 40-man roster

Most Giants fans were frustrated by the team’s moves in the offseason and its inability to add a power bat. But the moves to add Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan gives the teams two quality options at the top of the lineup, a sore spot for the Giants in 2011. Giants leadoff hitters hit .232 with a .292 OBP in 2011, leading to their offensive woes.

Cabrera and Pagan are locks to make the 2012 squad, with Ryan Theriot having a solid shot. Other additions are longshots to make the team. Here’s a look at the new Giants in camp this spring.

OF Angel Pagan: Pagan was acquired in a trade with the Mets for Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez. Pagan emerged as one of the top CFs in the National League in 2010 offensively and defensively, when he hit .290 with 11 HRs, 69 RBI and 37 SBs. But injuries derailed him in 2011, when he fell back to .262, 7 HR, 56 RBI and 32 SBs in 123 games. His clubhouse attitude also led to him falling out of favor with the Mets. The Giants hope new surroundings will rekindle Pagan.

OF Melky Cabrera: Cabrera was acquired from the Royals in the trade for Jonathan Sanchez. Cabrera was switch-hitting up-and-comer with the Yankees until he was traded to the Braves in 2010, when he tanked in his lone NL season. He hit .252 with 4 HR and 42 RBI. But he rebounded nicely with the Royals in 2011, posting career bests with .305 avg, 18 HR, 87 RBI and 102 runs scored. The Giants are hoping for another year like that.

IF Ryan Theriot: Theriot, 32, is a career .282 hitter with little power in seven seasons, mostly with the Cubs. He signed with the Cardinals last season to play shortstop, but ended the season platooning at second base after St. Louis added Rafael Furcal. He started Games 3 and 7 of the World Series at 2B vs. left-handed starters. But the Cards were “not satisfied” with his defense and non-tendered him. Theriot drew interest from the Braves, Mets, Rays and Rockies in the offseason, but mostly as a reserve. Theriot ended up signing a non-guaranteed offer with the Giants, likely because they gave him the best shot at starting. But the fact that he hit .310 last season against lefties could put him into a platoon situation with Brandon Crawford.

RP Clay Hensley: Hensley had his best season in 2006, going 11-12 with a 3.71 ERA with the Padres. He’s spent the past two seasons with the Marlins, going 6-7 with 5.19 ERA in 37 appearances (9 starts) in 2011. He signed a non-guaranteed contract and was brought in as insurance. He’ll compete for a long-relief spot in the bullpen, but likely will use the spring as an audition for another club.

LP Brian Burres: Burress was drafted by the Giants in 2000 but was released in 2005. He pitched parts of six big-league seasons with the Orioles, Blue Jays and Pirates, mostly as a starter. He has an 18-25 career record with a 5.75 ERA. He was 1-0 with 3.86 ERA in five appearances (two starts) with the Pirates in 2011. He’s a longshot to make the club, more likely to head to Fresno if he accepts the assignment.

RP Ramon Ortiz: Ortiz is an 11-season big leaguer, most known to Giants fans for being the winner pitcher for the Angels in Game 3 of the 2002 World Series. Ortiz spent the 2009 season in the Giants’ system, pitching for the Fresno Grizzlies. He spent last season with the Cubs, going 1-2 with 4.86 ERA in 22 appearances. The 39-year-old is a longshot to make the club.

OF Gregor Blanco: With Blanco, 28, the Giants are hoping to find another Andres Torres, a journeyman outfielder who finds his stride with the club. Blanco is a singles-hitting speedster who broke in the Braves in 2008. But he hasn’t played in the majors since hitting .283 in 85 games with the Braves and Royals in 2010. He spent an injury-plagued season with the Nationals’ Triple-A club in 2011.

2B Joaquin Arias: Arias, 27, has not made much of a big-league splash, topping out with 72 games played in 2010 with the Rangers and Mets. He spent 2011 with the Royals’ Triple-A club, hitting just .232.

They gone: 2011 Giants who won’t be 2012 Giants

Jonathan Sanchez is one of several 2011 Giants who won't be back with the club in 2012. The enigmatic starter was traded to Kansas City.

As the Giants prepare to open spring training — pitchers and catchers are due to report on Sunday — it’s time to look at the comings and goings of the 2011-12 offseason. We’ll start with the goings.

It’s never a good sign when your list of offseason free agents include two players who retired (Pat Burrell and Orlando Cabrera) and another who probably should retire (Miguel Tejada). But that’s the nature of the 2011 Giants.

One interesting signing was of that by Aaron Rowand with the Marlins. It’s good news for Giants fans on two fronts: One, it will save the Giants $500K of the $12 million they’ll have to pay Rowand in 2012; Two, if Rowand makes the Marlins, he’ll likely do it at the expense of Scott Cousins, the player who ended Buster Posey’s season last year.

Here’s a look at the list of players Giants fans won’t have to complain about in 2012:

OF Pat Burrell: Retired on Jan. 30

OF Andres Torres: traded to Mets on Dec. 7

IF Orlando Cabrera: retired on Jan. 18

RP Waldis Joaquin: signed minor-league deal with Nationals on Dec. 20

SS Miguel Tejada: Unsigned

OF Aaron Rowand: signed minor-league deal with Marlins on Dec. 12

IF Mark DeRosa: signed with Nationals on Dec. 28

OF Cody Ross: signed with Red Sox on Jan. 26

OF Carlos Beltran: signed with Cardinals on Dec. 23

LP Jonathan Sanchez: traded to Royals on Nov. 7

OF Darren Ford: signed minor-league deal with Mariners on Dec. 13

2B Jeff Keppinger: signed with Rays on Jan. 27

RP Ramon Ramirez: traded to Mets on Dec. 7

IF Bill Hall: signed minor-league deal with Yankees on Feb. 8

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