Opening Day diversion: Guess the 12 different starting left fielders for Giants since 2007 (and other Opening Day starter facts)

Hunter Pence

San Francisco Giants’ Hunter Pence hits a grand slam home run off Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Pedro Baez in the eighth inning of their baseball game Thursday, April 7, 2016, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

The San Francisco Giants announced the Opening Day lineup against the Dodgers.

CF Austin Jackson
2B Joe Panik
CF Andrew McCutchen
C Buster Posey
3B Evan Longoria
LF Hunter Pence
1B Brandon Belt
SS Brandon Crawford
P Ty Blach

It marks the 12th consecutive season the Giants have opened with a different player starting in left field, dating all the way back to Barry Bonds’ final Opening Day start in 2007.

If you are looking for an Opening Day diversion, try guessing the names of the 10 players sandwiched between Bonds and Hunter Pence. We’ll reveal the answer at the end of this post.

It’s actually Pence’s third consecutive Opening Day start for the Giants, after starting in right the past two seasons. He was hurt at the opening of the 2015 season.

It’s the eighth consecutive Opening Day start for both Buster Posey and Brandon Belt. It’s the seventh consecutive start for Brandon Crawford. It’s the fourth consecutive start for Joe Panik.

It’s the first-ever Opening Day start for the Giants for Ty Blach, Evan Longoria, Andrew McCutchen and Austin Jackson.

Third base is turning into a mini-left field for the Giants. Longoria is the fifth different player to start at 3B on Opening Day since 2014 — Pablo Sandoval, Casey McGehee, Matt Duffy and Eduardo Nunez.

Posey’s eight Opening Day starts at catcher are the most ever by Giant since 1908. Today’s start broke a tie he had with Wes Westrum.

Belt’s eight starts ties him with Will Clark for fourth-most ever at first base.

Getting back to left field. Bonds made 12 consecuive Opening Day starts from 1993 to 2004, and 14 of 15 starts until 2007.

The odds that this streak will be extended to 13 is very good when you consider that Pence is in the last year of his contract and will turn 36 next season.

Want to take any bets on who next year’s start left fielder is?

Mac Williamson?

Chris Shaw?

Austin Slater?

Brandon Belt?

Someone else?

All right. As promised, here is the answer to our left field question from above.

2007 – Barry Bonds
2008 – Dave Roberts
2009 – Darren Lewis
2010 – Mark DeRosa
2011 – Pat Burrell
2012 – Aubrey Huff
2013 – Andres Torres
2014 – Michael Morse
2015 – Nori Aoki
2016 – Angel Pagan
2017 – Jarrett Parker
2018 – Hunter Pence


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