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Hypothetical news: Giants set their Opening Day roster

The roster is set. For now.

Tampa Bay Rays v San Francisco Giants Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

With the MLB season suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, there are no baseball games and limited baseball news. So I’m creating a hypothetical season — complete with news and recaps — until baseball resumes. All news and recaps will have the hypothetical tag, so you can at least know when you’re suspending reality. And you can click “hypothetical season” above the headline to see everything that has happened in this “season.”

The San Francisco Giants are opening their season against the Los Angeles Dodgers. And they’ve finally trimmed their roster down to the legal maximum so that they can actually, you know, play the game.

But if there’s one thing we know about President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi, it’s that he’s always looking for opportunities, chances to shuffle puzzle pieces (am I mixing my metaphors here?), and market inefficiencies to exploit.

In other words, the 26-man roster will probably look different as early as Monday, when the Giants embark on their second series of the year.

But until then, here’s what we’ve got:

Catchers (2)

Tyler Heineman
Buster Posey

Infielders (5)

Brandon Belt
Brandon Crawford
Wilmer Flores
Evan Longoria
Yolmer Sanchez

Infielders/outfielders (3)

Mauricio Dubon
Darin Ruf
Austin Slater

Outfielders (4)

Alex Dickerson
Billy Hamilton
Hunter Pence
Mike Yastrzemski

Pitchers (12)

Trevor Cahill
Johnny Cueto
Jarlin Garcia
Kevin Gausman
Trevor Gott
Dany Jimenez
Wandy Peralta
Tyler Rogers
Tyson Ross
Jeff Samardzija
Drew Smyly
Andrew Triggs

A few notes . . .

  • Tony Watson, who will certainly play a key role out of the bullpen, opens the year on the Injury List, after not having progressed quite as much as the team had hoped.
  • Donovan Solano will open the season in Sacramento, making him the most notable of many option casualties. Solano pretty clearly outplayed Sanchez in Spring Training (and arguably last year, as well), but he has options. If Sanchez doesn’t perform in the first few weeks, I would expect a move.
  • Tyler Beede, who had season-ending Tommy John surgery on Friday, was placed on the 60-day IL to make room for Heineman on the 40-man roster.
  • Jerry Blevins and Nick Vincent were notable bullpen omissions, but the team has some interesting young arms.
  • Zaidi and Scott Harris opted to carry only 12 pitchers to start the season, but that will likely change. The Giants have two off days coming up, and won’t need a fifth starter until their 13th game of the season. Dereck Rodriguez, Andrew Suarez, and Logan Webb are all starting the season in Sacramento, but one will likely be up for that 13th game, either to be the fifth starter, or to take over a long bullpen role while one of the current relievers slides into the rotation.
  • Zaidi also announced that Rob Brantly - who had been in close competition with Heineman - had been traded to the Chicago White Sox for a player to be named later.