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Update: Mota's on the roster, and the below post is useless. Probably should have seen that one coming.
That one surprise could have to do with the last pitcher on the staff. Guillermo Mota pitched like he skipped over the kid's cough syrup and went straight for the codeine drip, and the rumblings were that even the Giants were tired of it. That leaves three possibilities:
1. Another reliever, like Clay Hensley or Jean Machi
2. A third catcher, Eli Whiteside, to free up Hector Sanchez for pinch-hitting duties
3. A two-legged speed caddy for Aubrey Huff, like Francisco Peguero
I keep scanning those, over and over and over, looking for the "roided-up Armando Rios" option because that would be a sweet option for a bench. But that option isn't there. If only there were a switch-hitting guy available who could hit for power, average, and speed ... but it's not the Giants have a player like that just hanging around their roster.
And there's a temptation to say, "Bah, doesn't matter." Except it can. The Giants might have lost the division series in 2003 because they didn't have a speed caddy for J.T. Snow. They took two situational lefties to face a team without any left-handed threats, and they left Eric Young off the roster. The last play of the season was Snow careening around third base before he was thrown out at the plate.
So I lean toward Peguero.
But an extra pitcher would help the team in a blowout, either the good or bad kind. Even with the days off, the Giants aren't going to want to run Romo/Affeldt/Lopez/Casilla out there every game, and that's assuming the starters make it to the seventh inning, which they've been really bad at lately. I can see the need for an extra pitcher.
Most people assume that Hector Sanchez is a fantastic pinch-hitter and late-inning option off the bench. What this blog post suggests is maybe he isn't? So I'm just going to eliminate that second option because lol.
Give me the extra wheels. The 2003 scenario scarred me. Peguero for Mota, and hope that Bumgarner et al can go at least six innings. The best answer is Melky, and the best realistic answer would have been Justin Christian, but those ships have sunk.
Ah, heck, it's going to be Mota, isn't it? Probably.
Update: It's Mota!
Giants say no roster changes.— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) October 14, 2012
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