Just got a peek at the Giants’ lineup for Saturday. Not exactly the kind of lineup that instills confidence for a team struggling to swing the bats.
But MoreSplashHits sort of saw this coming.
Managers often like to get their reserves into the starting lineup during the first week of the season.
So as Mark DeRosa and Aaron Rowand are right-handed batters, it figures Bochy would want to start them against at lefty. And as the Dodgers’ Ted Lilly is the only lefty the Giants will face over the next few days, we sort of saw this coming.
Also, Andres Torres and Pablo Sandoval are weaker hitters from the right side than the left.
So here’s the the lineup for today.
SS Miguel Tejada (R)
2B Freddy Sanchez (R)
RF Aubrey Huff (L)
C Buster Posey (R)
OF Pat Burrell (R)
3B Mark DeRosa (R)
1B Brandon Belt (L)
CF Aaron Rowand (R)
SP Matt Cain (R)
Doesn’t instill a lot of confidence, does it?
And what’s up with Tejada at the leadoff spot? I suppose the silver lining here is that Bruce Bochy has finally realized that Aaron Rowand in NOT a leadoff hitter. And if Rowand is going to be in the starting lineup, this is exactly where he should be in the lineup.
But Tejada leading off? Yeah, I don’t get that either.
If MoreSplashHits were making out the lineup, we’d make three simple adjustments.
Sanchez batting leadoff. He’s been swinging the bat as well as any Giant in the early going, so have him in the No. 1 spot.
DeRosa would then follow at No. 2. That’s where he often resided in the lineup last season before he went on the DL.
Then Tejada in his normal spot in the No. 6 spot.
But no one asked MoreSplashHits. Let’s hope that’s Bochy’s only mistake today.
When the Giants lost Juan Uribe to free agency, they replaced him by signing Miguel Tejada. Not a move that could categorized as an defensive improvement.
When the Giants lost Edgar Renteria to free agency, they replaced him with … with …. with … no one?
Well, that’s not entirely true. The Giants did re-sign utility infielder Mike Fontenot. But the Giants were also thought to be looking into another option at shortstop before opening spring training.
With pitchers and catchers set to report in a little more than a week, the Giants have not added another shortstop, not even a non-roster invitee to camp.
So it looks as if the Giants will open the season a bit thin at shortstop.
Tejada wil be the starting shortstop. Tejada has been known as a durable player, starting at least 154 games at shortstop in a season 10 times in his career.
But at 37-years-old, it would be a good idea to have some protection behind Tejada.
As the spring approaches, that appears to Fontenot. In his four-year MLB career, Fontenot has played 13 games at shortstop, starting 10. Last season, he played nine games at shortstop, starting seven. So he can play the position, but it’s not his strongest spot. His fielding percentage is weakest at shortstop (.906 career number, compared to .983 at 2B and .956 at 3B).
After Fontenot, the next option is Mark DeRosa. Although he’s built a career out of playing various positions, DeRosa has not started a game at shortstop since 2006. He’s only played the position for nine total inning since 2006 — none since 2008.
After that, we’d be looking at Ryan Rohlinger or Emmanuel Burriss, both players who are expected to open the season in Fresno.
One day after losing Jose Uribe to the Dodgers, the Giants filled their hole at shortstop by signing Miguel Tejada to a one-year, $6.5 million. The deal won’t become official until Tejada completes a physical.
More Splash Hits thinks this is a good deal for the Giants because they filled their hole at shortstop without making a trade.
More Splash Hits thinks this deal is not so hot because it came a bit early. But like with Aubrey Huff, the Giants are spending money to get a deal done early.
Tejada basically had a worse year in 2010 (15 HR, 71 BI, .269 AVG, .381 SLUG) than he did in 2009 with Houston (14, 86, .313. 440). Last offseason he signed a 1-year deal with Baltimore for $6. This year, a year older, he signs a $6.5 million with the Giants.
Why? Two reasons. One, the lean market of available shortstops. Two, he signed early. Last year, he signed with Baltimore in late January. Deals are better in November and December than they are in January.
In Tejada, the Giants get a cheaper version of Uribe. Cheaper, because he’s older. Tejada will turn 37 next May. Uribe turns 32 next July.
But there are similarities. Both have power. Both are sure-handed, but their range is limited. Uribe’s arm is stronger. Tejada hits for a better average. Tejada is a career .287 hitter; Uribe .256. Tejada strikes out less often.
Let’s take at the numbers for Uribe and Tejada from 2010.