The 25-Man Roster...wait, what?

Wow.

I mean, wow. My thoughts in gray:

Priority #1 for the Giants: Carry six outfielders

When each of your starting outfielders has the ability to play center field – for just a few innings, even – it’s important to carry two extra center fielders, just in case. You know. In case. Make sure that one of the extra center fielders has nothing to offer but speed, as that way he doesn’t make the center fielder who offers only speed and defense redundant.

Priority #2 for the Giants: Rely on Bengie Molina even more than they have in the past.

We all know that out-of-shape, 34-year-old catchers are fantastic bets to stay fresh and healthy, so the only backup the Giants need is a 22-year-old who is learning a new position at the major league level, expected to be an everyday player, and who didn’t pick up catcher’s gear this spring. What, are the Giants going to get rid of a sixth-outfielder/seventh-infielder who can play several positions poorly? Just for a dedicated backup catcher? That would be crazy.

And my more relevant thought: Whatever. This roster shuffling either won’t make a difference, or it’s going to fail so spectacularly, the moves will all be reversed in a month. By then, either Velez or Torres will be sitting on five total at-bats, the Giants will have lost a game because they didn’t want to pinch-run for the slowest runner in baseball because he didn't have a backup, Burriss will be hitting .240 without an extra base-hit, and the Giants will think, gee, maybe we’ve misallocated our resources.

I can kind of understand if the Giants feel that Kevin Frandsen would be better served facing live pitching every day in Fresno. He did miss an entire year, so sitting on the bench isn’t going to do him a lot of good. And I can almost see ignoring the likelihood that Manny Burriss isn’t a major league hitter yet. I want Burriss to succeed in such a huge way – he’s homegrown, incredibly likable, and a successful Burriss would be a fun player to watch. But low-power, high-contact guys generally don’t succeed against major league pitching, especially if they were never able to coax a lot of walks against minor league pitching. I’ll pretend that’s not true, and root for Burriss to succeed.

I just don’t get how both Andres Torres and Eugenio Velez are both more valuable to the Giants than a dedicated backup catcher, especially when the lack of a designated backup means it’s less likely that the team will use either to pinch-run for Molina in the late innings. Sure, they could shuffle the infield around to put Sandoval behind the plate in the middle of a game, but for what? A sixth outfielder on a team that isn’t burdened with an Adam Dunn-like defensive liability? A second pinch-runner? A fourth second baseman? What’s the tactical advantage? I’d love to hear a logical explanation.

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