Giants Finalize Opening Day Roster

The Giants' opening day roster contains a lot of familiar faces -- with a few young surprises sprinkled in for good measure.


New to the 2012 roster are pitchers Dan Otero, Clay Hensley and a group of outfielders: Gregor Blanco, Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan. Another offseason acquisition is infielder Ryan Theriot.

Welcome back

Brett Pill, Brandon Belt and Emmanuel Burriss have all made the opening day roster. Each struggled to find a steady role on the 2011 major league roster. Each hopes 2012 will be different.

Only Belt will be in the starting lineup Friday as the Giants open the season against the Diamondbacks. However, both Burriss and Pill will potentially play large roles early on: Burriss for his speed and Pill for power off the bench.

New outfield

The Giants have added two new starting outfielders in Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan. Cabrera is coming off a breakout year with the Royals in 2011, totaling 200+ hits, 100 runs scored and 40+ doubles.

Pagan stole 32 bases last year and features a high contact rate. He struck out just 62 times in 532 at-bats last year. At 29 years old, the Giants hope Pagan can build on last year's success and be the catalyst at the top of the order. That's something the Giants sorely missed last year.

Two catchers

With Chris Stewart being traded to the Yankees, and Eli Whiteside being sent down to Fresno, the Giants have chosen Hector Sanchez as Buster Posey's backup. This could be a risky move by Giants management -- Posey is coming off a devastating ankle injury -- but both Posey and Sanchez have shown during spring training that they're ready for the everyday grind. Pablo Sandoval still has catching experience and could potentially throw on the gear in a pinch.

Sanchez, only 22, has impressed the organization over the last year. A strong winter season in Venezula and a productive spring have put him on the fast track. Sanchez will get a lot of starts, especially since Posey is slated to play some first base.


Both the Giants' offense and defense are better than last year.

Outfield additions -- Pagan and Cabrera -- give the team a pair of table-setters in front of sluggers Posey and Sandoval. Brandon Crawford had a great spring with the bat and his defensive remains flashy. If Crawford can continue to hit, he'll be a productive back-of-the-lineup contributor. The surprise addition of Hector Sanchez to the big league roster gives the team depth in the upside department. Maybe 2012 will be Belt's year.

Last year the Giants scored the fewest runs in the NL. This year there's more to support the team's top-notch staff.


Jeremy Affeldt LHP
Madison Bumgarner LHP
Matt Cain RHP
Santiago Casilla RHP
Clay Hensley RHP
Tim Lincecum RHP
Javier Lopez LHP
Guillermo Mota RHP
Dan Otero RHP
Sergio Romo RHP
Brian Wilson RHP
Barry Zito LHP

Buster Posey C
Hector Sanchez C

Brandon Belt IF/OF
Emmanuel Burriss IF
Brandon Crawford IF
Aubrey Huff IF/OF
Brett Pill IF/OF
Pablo Sandoval IF
Ryan Theriot IF

Gregor Blanco OF
Melky Cabrera OF
Angel Pagan OF
Nate Schierholtz OF

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