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What would the Giants do with a 26th roster spot?

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MLB: San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres
This, but more of it.
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a great chance that major league teams will have 26 players on their active rosters in 2017 instead of 25. The change will likely be at the expense of September call-ups, which is fine with just about everyone. This means we should figure out how the Giants will use this valuable roster spot.

14-man pitching staff

Please hold your comments until we evaluate all the possibilities.

14-man pitching staff

Yes, we h

14-man pitching staff

Your guess has been recor

14-man pitching staff. Bruce Bochy bringing lefties in to face lefties and righties in to face righties and lefties in to face lefties and righties in to face righties and lefties in to face lefties and righties in to face righties and lefties in to face lefties and righties in to face righties and lefties in to face lefties and righties in to face righties and lefties in to face lefties and righties in to face righties until the seas rise up and reclaim us all, the sons and daughters of Atlantis reborn.

Perhaps. There are other options, though!

A third catcher

This would excite me more with Andrew Susac still in the organization, but in theory it would allow the Giants to use one of their backup catchers as a pinch-hitter more often. Trevor Brown hit three home runs in his first eight plate appearances last season, and two more in his final 165. His second-half OPS of .591 is pretty much what we should expect from him, considering his minor-league stats.

It would make the bench more flexible, though.

In theory.

A way to keep both Conor Gillaspie (postseason hero) and Ehire Adrianza (out of options)

This is possibly more likely than 14 pitchers! The Giants have been quietly accumulating minor-league infielders this offseason, as if they’re finally preparing to lose Adrianza, but that might be a coincidence. I wrote an argument for him here, but it’s still underwhelming to build a bench with Adrianza and Gillaspie as your go-to pinch-hitters.

Finally getting a lumbering galoot who does absolutely nothing but hit dingers off the bench

Is Matt Stairs a free agent? They should look into that. But for years, I’ve had a dream that the Giants would get a lumbering galoot who can’t field or run, for the express purpose of hitting against closers with a runner on base in the ninth inning. The roster spot was too valuable before, and there was too much of a chance that this lumbering galoot would be forced into the field.

Now there’s a chance for specialty players like that. I’m partial to Dae-Ho Lee, but you can pick your galoot of choice.

Vrooooooooom

Same as the above, but with speed instead of dingers. There has to be a Terrance Gore-type in the system. Maybe the Giants could just get the actual Terrance Gore. It might not be the most efficient use of a roster spot, but it would be fun.

This is a great time to plug my piece on collecting baseball cards, in which I explain why I own this outstanding baseball card:

The Giants could have a Herb Washington of their very own. Maybe even one who knows how to play baseball.

Keeping six outfielders, all with different skill sets

This is my personal preference. These skill sets would be ...

  • Defensive whiz
  • Left-handed power
  • Right-handed power

Or, to be more specific, the Giants’ outfield could be (New player)/Span/Pence, with Gorkys Hernandez, Jarrett Parker, and Mac Williamson off the bench. They already have a solid mix of fourth-through-sixth outfielders in place, and you know they would all get at-bats considering the age of the incumbents.

This use of the extra roster spot depends on the outfielder the Giants would get. If the new guy can’t cover center, that means Span will need a caddy on the bench, which would be bad news for either Parker or Williamson, which is bad news for the roster in general. A 26th roster spot would help that.

A 14-man pitching staff

You can’t imagine how deep this sigh is. Such a deep, resonant sigh. And yet we know it’s coming. Let’s guess at what this would look like:

  • Brad Ziegler
  • Derek Law
  • Hunter Strickland
  • Will Smith
  • Steven Okert
  • George Kontos
  • Albert Suarez
  • Matt Cain
  • Josh Osich

Ta-daaaaa! There’s your extra roster spot. Somewhere in there. Congratulations.

We’ll have a lot of time to think about this, and the roster spot isn’t guaranteed, so this is just holiday spitballing. There might be a wild push from some spring rando or Rando that makes us rethink what the bench will need. For now, though, I’m using the news of a potential 26th man to think of an outfield permutation that can satisfy all of the Giants’ needs, both glove and bat.

Unless they want a lumbering galoot. I’d be fine with that. Thankful, even.