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What Will the Giants Do?

Let's just get this out of the way:

Giants/Brewers Series Preview
The Brewers have Travis Ishikawa on their roster. Isn't that wild? They also have three pitchers -- Zack Greinke, Randy Wolf, Shaun Marcum -- who will throw from a pitching mound against the Giants, and you know how much the Giants hate that. This has been your Giants/Brewers series preview.

Now we can move on. The title of this post was almost "What will the Giants do without Pablo Sandoval?" But that's probably a non-issue seeing as Bay Area Sports Guy actually talked to the guy who writes things on the lineup card:

"Right now I’m hoping Conor takes it and runs with it. He was our third baseman in Triple-A, and he’s played there longer than everybody. And with the bat, he’s been swinging it well. So I’d say he’s going to get most of the playing time," Bochy said. "The other options are Arias, Theriot, even Burriss."

The other options are … even Burriss. Yeah, that's worth putting up on the top of the site for a week or two.

But that's probably the right way to handle it. Of all those players, Gillaspie is the most experienced at the position, and he's about the only one of them that I'd trust to put up an OBP over .325. Though I'm scared about Bochy's definition of "runs with it", there shouldn't be a big debate about this.

The title of this post was not ever going to be "What will Giants fans do without Pablo Sandoval?" Because I know what we'll do. Fetal position. Thumb-sucking. Drinking. Watching something more interesting than the Giants' offense, like VHS-recorded Warriors games from last month on a TV with a broken vertical-hold. There aren't any secrets there.

No, the title of this post has to do with everything. Every position. Because here are the open issues with the Giants' lineup:

  • A shortstop who can't hit (expected) or catch (unexpected)
  • A hole at second base that a rotating cast and crew are keeping warm for Freddy "Godot" Sanchez
  • A hole at third that will ostensibly be filled by a minor-league reinforcement
  • Aubrey Huff coming back, which Bochy has described as a "a shot in the arm", and there's a chance that he didn't trail off and mumble "like, one of those ones where the nurse screws up and makes you sore for a week."
  • A Nate Schierholtz gutterslump that's as gruesome as any that I remember in the past.
  • A hot Gregor Blanco. Over a couple of games, sure, but when has that ever stopped the Giants?

So many balls in the air. And the Giants are swinging at all of them. My one suggestion: consistency. Well, I have a lot of suggestions, really, but that's my first one. I don't want to see a Theriot/Crawford/Burriss/Huff infield one day and a Gillaspie/Arias/Theriot/Belt infield the next.

Did anyone else start to lose consciousness when they read "Theriot/Crawford/Burriss/Huff infield"? Yeah.

But I think the important thing is to have consistent lineups. Other than Belt/Huff, I'm not seeing a huge difference between a lot of the interchangeable players. I don't mind lefty/righty match-ups within reason -- within reason, Skip -- but I don't see how 30 different lineups over 30 days is going to help anyone.

My lineups, lefty and right:

Vs. right
Pagan - CF
Gillaspie - 3B
Melky - RF
Posey - C
Belt - 1B
Blanco - LF
Burriss - 2B
Crawford - SS

Vs. left
Pagan - CF
Gillaspie - 3B
Melky - RF
Posey - C
Belt - 1B
Pill - LF
Theriot - 2B
Arias - SS

Not thrilled with either one, of course. But I'd like the Giants to stick with a consistent lefty/righty approach instead of yanking guys around. But here's my guess at what the lineup will actually be:

Pagan - CF a
Gillaspie - 3B b c d
Melky - LF e
Posey - C f
Huff - 1B g h i j
Schierholtz - RF k l m n o p q r
Burriss - 2B s t u v
Crawford - SS w x y z

a - Unless Blanco goes either 3-for-3 the previous game, or 6-for8 in his previous two games

b - Unless against a tough left-hander, in which case Theriot starts

c - Unless against a tough left-hander with Theriot already at second, in which case Arias starts

d - Unless against a medium-difficulty left-hander from Mon. through Thurs., depending on NASDAQ fluctuations

e - Hahaha, no, just kidding. He'll be in the lineup. Always and forever.

f - Unless he's caught three games in a row, or Zito is pitching, or Earth needs him to vanquish supervillains accidentally released from superjail.

g - Unless against ... look, you get the idea

Permutations permutations permutations. But I still think a regular pair of lineups, with the occasional rest factored in, is the way to go.

Of course, this is like arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. And that's Sidney Ponson asking to have his portrait painted, not Kate Winslet. But we almost talked about the Brewers up there! That was a close one.