Position: 5th Starter
WINNER: Jamey Wright
SFDugout.com's Prediction: Jamey Wright
Going into the Spring, this job was Brad Hennessey's to lose. Well, he did it. A rough spring prompted Hennessey returning to Fresno, and Jamey Wright edged out Kevin Correia with a spectacular spring (not including 5 earned runs in his final spring outing the day before Opening Day). Wright has always pitched well at AT&T Park, whatever its name was at the time, and is armed with a new cut fastball to work with alongside his slider. The Giants don't really need much other than someone who will give them a chance to win most of the time, and Wright should do that. If not, expect Correia to be callup option number one, and not Hennessey.
Position: Back-Up Catcher
WINNER: Todd Greene
SFDugout.com's Prediction: Todd Greene
We wish we could take credit for calling this one, but Greene was the obvious choice from the start, especially if Wright won the final rotation spot. Greene has shown some improved defensive skills, and though he'll always pale in comparison to gold glover Mike Matheny, he also appears to be picking up tips from him. Offensively, Greene might just be a slight upgrade over Matheny, which isn't saying too much, but the bottom line is that in the games Greene is needed in, the Giants won't suffer too sharp a drop-off.
WINNERS: Tyler Walker, Jack Taschner, Scott Munter and Jeremy Accardo
SFDugout.com's Prediction: Tyler Walker, Jack Taschner and Scott Munter
Only Armando Benitez's injury keeps the SFDugout.com team from getting every man on the 25 man roster right, but in our defense, Accardo was the hardest one to leave off. Walker survives several trade rumors to make the team, but Benitez's struggles and Walker's experience closing might have helped in that regard. Worrell seems to still be the choice to be the closer fill-in, but Walker will probably get a chance or two. Munter had some rough times, but that will also happen with a sinkerballer. He's got more pitches to work with, and that should help with more experience. Taschner remains a good southpaw option with room to keep growing, and the increased experience for all the young pitchers should add up to a solid bullpen, if they get Benitez back.
The question is, who goes down when Benitez comes back? Our bet is Accardo, unless Walker is traded after all.
Position: 25th Man
WINNER: Jason Ellison
SFDugout.com's Prediction: Jason Ellison
So maybe we know what we're doing with these predictions. This race was the toughest to call, with good performances all around. Perhaps more intrigue is in the cases of those who didn't make it. Angel Chavez got shockingly DFA'd to make room for Greene over the weekend, and is a real risk to be picked up by some other team, which would be a loss for the Giants. And then there's Todd Linden, whom General Manager Brian Sabean openly said he was looking to trade to give him a better option than returning to Triple-A, but no trades materialized. Keeping Linden gives the Giants a ready option to be called up in the not-very unlikely chance of an injury occuring, but Ellison was the right choice. He had a hot spring, and will fill in capably for Bonds as a pinch runner late in games.
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