The San Francisco Giants reassigned pitcher Santiago Casilla to minor-league camp, cutting the spring roster to 38 players. Manager Bruce Bochy said the remaining 38 players will travel north for the four exhibition games in the Bay Area.
That means catcher Buster Posey will be heading north. But whether he’ll still be with the Giants when they open the season in Houston remains to be seen.
The Giants are considering keeping Posey with the big club and giving him 3 or 4 starts a week at catcher or first base. But with the Giants having the first four Thursdays of the season off, the prevailing thought in the organization is to send Posey to Fresno to catch every day. But Posey could get called on at the first sign of trouble.
Another player not likely to be on the opening day roster is outfielder Fred Lewis. Lewis hasn’t played in about week with a sore left side, which may land Lewis on the disabled list.
“We haven’t determined that yet, but that’s a possibility,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Tuesday. “We hope that’s not the case.”
Or maybe they do. Putting Lewis on the DL would at the very least delay a tough decision for the Giants. If they can hide Lewis away on the DL, it would give them time to see how outfielders John Bowker and Eugenio Velez perform during the regular season. If one or both struggle, they could then activated Lewis from the DL and send either one to the minors. Both Bowker and Velez have minor-league options. Outfielders Nate Schierholtz and Andres Torres are out of options, as is Lewis.
APRIL 27 DATE FOR VILLALONA: Giants prospect Angel Villalona faces an April 27 preliminary hearing on the murder charges against him in the Dominican Republic.
Villalona, 19, is charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of a man in a Dominican bar last September.
On April 27, the judge will consider if the evidence against Villalona is strong enough for the case to go to trial. Villalona is currently free on bond.
PREDICTION FOR GIANTS IN 2010: Not yet.
More Splash Hits predicted a 70-92 record in 2008 — the first post-Barry Bonds year when many talking heads were talking about a 100-loss season for the Giants. The Giants finished 72-90.
More Splash Hits predicted a 83-79 mark for 2009, when most thought the Giants’ lack of offensive punch would destine them to another 90-loss season. The Giants finished 88-74.
So what’s the call for 2010? Well, as the Giants are putting more of their roster decision off to the 11th hour, so we will likewise wait before making our prediction.