Next round of cuts help San Francisco Giants 2014 roster take shape

With Marco Scutaro looking more and more like he's headed to the DL to open season, it opens up roster spots for others.

With Marco Scutaro looking more and more like he’s headed to the DL to open season, it opens up roster spots for others.

The Giants made what can be considered the penultimate round of roster cuts on Friday, sending down seven players to the minors.

Sent down were RHP Heath Hembree, RHP Erik Cordier, RHP Jake Dunning, RHP Brett Bochy, RHP Adam Reifer, C Guillermo Quiroz and 1B Mark Minicozzi.

The only surprising player among that group was Hembree, who was thought to be among the favorites to make the big-league club.

But the Giants felt he needed to work more on his off-speed pitches, and that he could do that with a more consistent workload at Fresno than spotting appearances in middle relief with the big club.

It leaves 33 players in camp battling for 25 roster spots.

Twenty of the 25 roster spots are more or less locked in, leaving 13 players in camp for the final five spots.

Five of the remaining players are position players for two open bench spots

  • OF Juan Perez
  • OF Tyler Colvin
  • IF Tony Abreu
  • IF Ehire Adrianza
  • IF Brandon Hicks

Perez and Hicks, while having solid springs, can be sent to Fresno. The other three players would need to first pass through waivers or would be able to opt-out of their contracts (Colvin) if they don’t make the big-league club.

If Scutaro opens the season on the DL (which is looking more and more like a possibility after he received a cortisone shot in his troublesome back Thursday), it would create three open roster spots.

In the bullpen, there eight candidates left for three open jobs.

  • RH Yusmeiro Petit
  • LH David Huff
  • RH Kameron Loe
  • RH J.C. Gutierrez
  • RH George Kontos
  • RH Jean Machi
  • RH Derek Law
  • LH Dan Runzler

Petit and Huff were thought to battling for the role of long reliever, along with Loe. Petit seemed to get an edge Friday with solid outing against the A’s. But as Petit and Huff are out of options, the Giants could decide to keep both.

If they did that, Machi would seem to be the frontrunner to secure the final roster spot. Gutierrez and Law appear to be the long shots.

“This is the best group of young pitchers I’ve had since I’ve been here,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “We have some tough decisions to make here. We’ve got a little over a week to finalize these spots and it’s been competitive. It’s going to go down to the last couple games.”

Sometimes, these final decisions don’t come down to who had the best spring. It comes down to the safest play.

The safe play is to keep players who are out of options. That way if they struggle or get hurt, you could always recall the players you sent to the minors.

You make the other decision, then those players out of options likely won’t be around to call on.

With that in mind, here is what MoreSplashHits is projecting how the opening roster will look like:

POSITION PLAYERS

Starters

  • C Buster Posey
  • 1B Brandon Belt
  • 2B Joaquin Arias
  • SS Brandon Crawford
  • 3B Pablo Sandoval
  • LF Michael Morse
  • CF Angel Pagan
  • RF Hunter Pence

Bench

  • C Hector Sanchez
  • IF Tony Abreu
  • IF Ehire Adrianza
  • OF Gregor Blaco
  • OF Tyler Colvin

Starting pitchers

  • LH Madison Bumgarner
  • RH Matt Cain
  • RH Tim Lincecum
  • RH Tim Hudson
  • RH Ryan Vogelson

Bullpen

  • RH Sergio Romo
  • RH Santiago Casilla
  • LH Jeremy Affeldt
  • LH Javier Lopez
  • RH Jean Machi
  • RH Yusmeiro Petit
  • LH David Huff

Disabled list

  • 2B Marco Scutaro

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