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Idle Off-Day Speculation

There's a glorious, glorious dead zone of rosterbation in April and May. The rosters are set. The free agents are signed. The trades of the offseason are done, and the trades of the deadline aren't close. The team you got is the team you got, partner. All of those pointless, stupid words of the offseason -- all of the Harold-in-Gilroy nonsense that you came up with on your own -- there's no reason for it anymore. It's over. The season for rosterbation is over.

So, uh...

/pretends to look at framed picture on wall

Yeah, so, Matt Cain.


/plans out way to leave conversation by saying "I have to go get my clothes out of the dryer" real genuine-like

Ah, hell, this isn't any fun. What's the point of baseball if you can't rosterbate?Actually watching the games? I watched one last night that was 11 innings and only one run scored. Boooor-ing. No, the real reason we follow this languid mess in the first place is so we can move and remove and replace players on our imaginary rosters like so many paper dolls. That's the appeal.

And two things last night got me thinking:

  1. Hector Sanchez pinch-hitting against Cliff Lee
  2. Brandon Belt not starting, which seems to have escaped the attention of Giants fans on the Internet, so I wanted to bring it to your attention.

As to the first one: Really? The switch-hitting catcher was the team's best option against a left-handed pitcher late in the game? He sure was. With Brett Pill in the lineup (and Gregor Blanco burned as a pinch-runner), it was either Sanchez or Emmanuel Burriss, unless you felt comfortable sending Brandon Belt or Aubrey Huff up against Lee. I know that Sanchez's minor-league stats weren't stupendous last season, but I still trust him more than Burriss. The miniscule risk that Pablo would have to catch was probably worth the risk.

And the second one is a tired conversation by now. You can spend your days and nights sleeping in Union Square, holding up a protest sign when needed, but the real problem is that Huff and Nate Schierholtz are going to start over Belt most of the time. And Huff isn't going anywhere. Those phone calls have been made.

The two are somewhat related. Because the more I stare at this roster, the more I'm convinced that it could be made more functional by a right-handed outfielder. Someone who can hit like Pat Burrell, but field better than Pat Burrell. Or maybe just Pat Burrell. You get the idea. A right-handed outfielder with some semblance of power. And if there's a way to flip Schierholtz to get him ...

This isn't some sort of Nate hate. He's a valuable bench player on the right roster. This just isn't the roster. The current Huff/Belt/Schierholtz quasi-rotation is all left-handed, which means that at least one of them has to play against the toughest lefties, like Cliff Lee. Two of the starting outfielders are switch-hitters, so there's no reason to give them days off other than for rest. That means Schierholtz's starts are likely to come at the expense of Huff or Belt. Usually Belt. Always Belt.

I'm a moron when it comes to assigning trade value, so I'm not going to suggest it's as easy as finding a team interested in Schierholtz and making a one-for-one swap. Maybe teams interested in Schierholtz don't exist. But if there's a way to get a low-upside-yet-useful outfielder like Casper Wells, Collin Cowgill, or Aaron Cunningham, it'd probably help the Giants in a couple of different ways.

Just a thought. We only have one more open day for idle speculation before we have to get back to those silly games. Wish they could just play them on paper, right?