The first Giants starting lineup of 2017 is out, and it was so close to being abnormal. For a few minutes, it looked like Madison Bumgarner was hitting eighth, as if to remind us that he’s one of baseball’s greatest anomalies.
Instead, normalcy has prevailed. Here’s the first starting lineup of 2017:
- Denard Span - CF
- Brandon Belt - 1B
- Hunter Pence - RF
- Buster Posey - C
- Brandon Crawford - SS
- Eduardo Nuñez - 3B
- Jarrett Parker - LF
- Joe Panik - 2B
- Madison Bumgarner - P
That was almost the pitcher hitting eighth, but there was a last-minute switch.
Let’s check in with Torey Lovullo, Diamondbacks manager:
[plops left-handed reliever in to face Jarrett Parker]
[goes outside for smoke]
Yeah, that’s the problem with the Giants’ lineup. It’s not like Bumgarner has a preference between lefties and righties, which means there’s a stretch of five batters who either don’t hit lefties better righties, or hit them much worse. We’ll see Aaron Hill and/or Chris Marrero in the late innings, which would excite me more if either one of them had proven lefty-mashing abilities, but that’s not the case.
The Giants are very, very left-handed, and it’s a problem. It’s been an obvious problem since the start of the offseason, and stacking Span and Belt at the top of the lineup compounds that problem.
Regardless, the season is approximately 378 games long, so they’ll have time to figure it out. For now, this is roughly the Giants’ lineup against right-handers, so get used to it.