The Baseball Notebook

October 26, 2010 7:34 AM

Introducing The San Francisco Giants

BruceBochy.jpgThe Notebook continues its player-by-player look at the World Series teams. Today we go into the San Francisco lineup. Tomorrow both teams will be tied together in the final Series preview...

C: Buster Posey: No rookie impacted his team like this one. Called up in May, Posey energized the San Francisco order with a combination of average and power. The Florida State grad produced a World Series catcher for two teams--his arrival enabled San Francisco to trade Bengie Molina to Texas.

1B: Aubrey Huff: Another complete offensive package and a hidden gem. He was the best DH in the American League when he was at Baltimore in 2008. He escaped Peter Angelos' Reign of Terror when he was traded to Detroit last summer. That didn't work out, but he's made the most of his chance in San Francisco.

2B: Freddy Sanchez: Another quality player picked up from a languishing team. Sanchez won a batting title with the Pirates in 2003 and while he's never hit those offensive heights again, he's still consistent at getting on-base and a decent #2 hitter.

3B: Pablo Sandoval: He has to step up and meet the moment. The NL's top third baseman in '09, he had a bad year this time and gotten considerable pine time in the playoffs. But the hefty big swinger can be a game-changer and that's what Frisco needs if they are going to pour champagne again. I would expect to see him DH when the series shifts to Texas on Saturday.

SS: Juan Uribe: He delivered the game-winning RBI twice in the LCS. He hit 24 home runs so there's surprising power from this spot, but he can be inconsistent at getting on base. He does bring World Series experience, owning a ring from when he started for the 2005 Chicago White Sox. Uribe also plays third when Sandoval sits, and Edgar Renteria takes this spot. Renteria's another decent veteran with a previous ring (1997 Florida Marlins)

LF: Pat Burrell: Like Huff, he resurrected his career in San Francisco. After a strong career in Philadelphia that ended with the 2008 Series title, he got a big-money deal in Tampa to DH and it never worked out. He was released this spring and hooked on in Frisco. Whether it was being back in the National League or back in the field, Burrell found his bat and is a solid offensive player in all areas.

CF: Andres Torres: After kicking around in Detroit and Texas since 2002, Torres got his first chance to be a regular player and made the most of it. A good leadoff hitter with the pop to go deep if pitchers get careless.

RF: Cody Ross: He came over from Florida this year and after a bit of a slow year, found the power stroke he'd shown the previous two seasons with the Marlins. Ross' bat dominated both playoff series, against Atlanta and Philadelphia, and he won NLCS MVP honors.


SP: Tim Lincecum: How is it possible than the man who's won the last two Cy Young Awards gets overlooked? Roy Halladay's presence dominated the NLCS. Now it's Cliff Lee. But as Philadelphia found out, Lincecum can pitch a little bit too.

SP: Matt Cain: When the ace struggled in August, it was Cain who stepped up and had the best year of anyone on the staff. Then he threw a shutout against the Phillies. This is an outstanding pitcher and ace material.

SP: Jonathan Sanchez: A young and talented lefthander. He had a good year, and has the same kind of ace capacity that Cain does. But the pressure of the postseason did seem to get to him. He struggled in both starts against the Phils, including having to be removed early in Game 6 when he'd clearly lost his composure.

SP: Madison Bumgarner: Another young and talented southpaw, he's only 21 years old and had a nice year in limited duty--a 3.00 ERA in 111 IP. He's got the flexibility to come out of the bullpen and was part of the brigade that bailed out Sanchez in the NLCS clincher.


RP: Jeremy Affeldt: He's been a very steady middle reliever since 2007 when Kansas City traded him into the National League and he's succeeded in Cincinnati, Colorado and now here.

RP: Sergio Romo: In his third year in the majors, Romo has become an integral part of the bullpen with a 2.18 ERA.

RP: Ramon Ramirez: He was acquired from Boston at the trade deadline. He had an excellent year for the Red Sox in '09 before struggling the first four months of this year. But he posted a 2.99 ERA for the Giants since the deal and has very live stuff.

CL: Brian Wilson: He's been the closer for the Giants the past three years now and took the step into elite status this year. He was dominant in the NLCS and makes his team the favorite in any game tied after eight innings. 

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Dan Flaherty is the editor of the Sports Notebook Family, published through the Real Clear Sports Blog Network, offering daily MLB playoff coverage and game analysis in college football and the NFL. He is the author of The Last New Year's, a book that revisits the historic high points of college football's New Year's Day bowl games.

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