Just a few things I'm wondering about as Spring Training approaches...
- Who bats cleanup when Bengie sits? Bengie Molina is our cleanup hitter and that's a bummer. But Bengie played in just 134 games for the Giants last year, and that was a career high. Over his career, he generally has averaged around only 120 games a year. So, for those 40-or-so games that Bengie sits, does Bochy rearrange the lineup and maybe have Rowand bat 4th? Or does he just slide Guillermo Rodriguez or Eliezer Alfonzo into the 4-hole on those nights?
- Who's the backup shortstop? Richie or Frandsen?
- Any definitive word on how Vinnie Chulk is doing? He was shut down with circulatory issues due to his use of smokeless tobacco. This was the same thing that ended Kevin Rogers' career 14 years ago. Rogers was a very promising Giants pitcher who was dominant out of the bullpen in the '93 season. Early in '94, he began experiencing circulatory problems from his use of smokeless tobacco. He went on the DL then and there and never pitched again in the major leagues.
- Why isn't Sabean adding some cheap, low-risk relief pitchers to the list of non-roster invitees? I've been reading about Arizona scouting and being close to signing Keith Foulke to a minor league contract. Boston has signed Dan Kolb and Dan Miceli to similar contracts. These are no-risk/high-reward opportunities for the Giants. With the Giants bullpen already suspect, it seems like having a few more bullpen options would be prudent, given how much the Giants are investing in their starting rotation. How many nights will Bochy go to pick up the phone to get someone loosened up, remember he's choosing between the likes of Randy Messenger, Jack Taschner and Steve Kline, and decide to leave Lincecum or Cain in a few batters longer?