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Fifth-Starter Power Rankings

  1. Russ Ortiz - Wow, check out those gams! A dumpy Ortiz was the favorite for the spot; some sort of Adonis-but-slightly-dumpy version of Ortiz is even more of a favorite. The fate of Ortiz rests in the radar gun more than the hands of Bochy or Sabean.
  2. Tim Lincecum - The hype machine is chugging along, and I'm sold. It makes fifteen kinds of baseball sense to start him in AA or AAA, but a great spring would trump any sort of attempt at rational thought. He's very much in the same situation that Justin Verlander was at the start of last spring. Verlander went on to win the Rookie of the Year (good), but had dead arm concerns toward the end of the year (very, very bad). Verlander's success helped get his team to the postseason (very good), but the postseason just meant more innings on top of what was already a career high (bad).

    With each corkscrewing opposing batter, though, the temptation is there. And, again, sometimes there is something to be said for the brainless fan part of all of us. We watch baseball to be entertained, and Lincecum would certainly be entertaining. Makes perfect sense to me, so long as I try not to have a critical thought in my body.

  3. Jonathan Sanchez - He could be a victim of circumstance and need. The Giants need bullpen help; Sanchez was very effective as a reliever. The new rage is referencing Jon Papelbon when talking about a young prospect who could go to the bullpen first and rotation second. That sounds good, but we should probably see how Papelbon does first.
  4. Brad Hennessey - Ortiz and Sanchez would have to suffer concurrent thumb-wrestling injuries before Hennessey has a real shot, but he has to be in the discussion. When the Giants drafted Hennessey, Baseball America ranked his slider as the best in the Giants' draft. If he could ever find that, he'd combine it with his above-average sinker to be a potential relief force. I just can't see that happening as a starter.
  5. Kevin Correia - If he wanted to be in the rotation so bad, maybe he shouldn't have been our most effective reliever last season.
These rankings don't reflect my personal opinion, but just my best guess at the opinions of the Giants' decision-makers. Quibbles are always encouraged. Devastating rebukes, less so.