The San Francisco Giants’ 25-man roster …. if the season opened today

Cole Gillespie, being greeted at home after his game-winning home run on Sunday, is battling Francisco Peguero for a roster spot.

Cole Gillespie, being greeted at home after his game-winning home run on Sunday, is battling Francisco Peguero for a roster spot.

The 2013 season sits at T-12 days and counting.
So with Monday’s off day from spring training games, we thought it would be a good time to look at our projected 25-man opening day roster, if the season were to open right now.

STARTING ROTATION

Not much drama here. This crew each made at least 30 starts last year. But if one of these five needs a DL stint, topping the list of fill-in pitchers from Triple-A would be Chris Heston, Michael Kickham or Yusmeiro Petit, who cleared waivers last weekend and accepted a Triple-A assignment.

BULLPEN

With Petit being sent to Fresno and Scott Proctor continuing to struggle, Gaudin becomes a slam dunk to lock down the final bullpen job and serve as a long man/spot starter. Mijares has been sidelined with an elbow impingment since Feb. 28. He threw off flat ground a week ago with no problems, then left camp for nearly a week to attend to a personal matter in his native Venezuela. That leaves the lefty way behind in his spring preparations, meaning it’s very likely he’ll open the season on the DL. Runzler has impressed the Giants this spring, and is the clear favorite to fill Mijares’ spot.

CATCHER

Sanchez has been battling calf and shoulder ailments this spring. It’s the shoulder that has him sidelined right. The Giants are hoping that a few days of rest and treatment will do the trick. But until he tries to get back on the field later this week, they won’t know. If he can come back and play this week, there’s still time for him to be ready for the opener. But as this list is based on the notion of the season opening right now, we’ve got to put Hector on the DL. Quiroz appears to be the most experienced and dependable replacement option in camp. Jackson Williams lacks big-league experience and it doesn’t help that he’s hitting .190 this spring. Johnny Monell has impressed with the bat (9 for 18), but he hasn’t seen enough time behind the plate to be considered an option.

INFIELD

Sandoval is battling an elbow problem. The Giants will give him a couple days for it to calm down, and they don’t expect it to be a big problem. So at this point, we’ll keep the Panda active. The batte for the last reserve infield spot hasn’t been much of a battle, meaning Valdez wins it by default. Kensuke Tanaka leads the Giants in errors while hitting .233. And injuries have limited Tony Abreu to two ABs this spring. Look for the Giants to check the waiver wire for another potential option.

OUTFIELD

I know, I know. Francisco Peguero has been tearing it up this spring. But a couple of things from Sunday’s games leads us to believe if Bruce Bochy had to make a call today, he’d go with Gillespie. For one, Gillespie belted a game-winning, three-run homer on Sunday. And then there was this quote from Bochy: “Cole’s got a knack for hitting left-handers.” When you’re the last guy on the 25-man roster, being a good situational player is a plus. Now power isn’t a big part of Gillespie’s game. But occassional pop is better than no pop when you’re serving as a bench player. Gillespie has 80 HRs in 772 minor-league ABs. Peguero has 32 HRs in 614 minor-league ABs. Gillespie came out of the gate this spring hot, but then cooled off. But he’s picked up a bit recently and has a .306 spring average. Yes, that’s not as good as Peguero’s .385, but you get a different picture when you compare on-base percentages. Peguero’s is .400 (dude don’t like to walk); Gillespie’s is .390. Peguero does make better contact (5 Ks in 39 ABs) than Gillespie (10 Ks in 36 ABs). Bochy said this one is going down to the wire. But if he had to pick right now, we’d think he’d go with Gillespie.

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