San Francisco GiantsManager: Bruce Bochy
Stadium: AT&T Park
2008 Record: 72-90 (4th in NL West)
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-- Tim Kurkjian
HITTER TO WATCH:
Emmanuel Burriss should be the utility infielder and could log some defensive-replacement time at short. But the next impact rookie bat for the Giants will be catcher Buster Posey.
PITCHER TO WATCH:
Lefty Alex Hinshaw has big arm strength and is very tough on left-handed hitters, but he is probably limited to specialist duty until he finds a weapon to get righties out.
-- Keith Law, Scouts Inc.
Can reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum be the league's best pitcher for the second straight year? Will Bengie Molina be the top NL catcher in 2009? Do the Giants have the league's No. 1 starting rotation? Register your vote.
A terrific bad-ball hitter, Pablo Sandoval can hit over .300 with power, although he won't do much to help in leagues that use on-base percentage. He'll also likely pick up eligibility at both corners and catcher during the season.
Aaron Rowand's speed is gone, and his raw power doesn't play well in his home park. Last season's numbers were not just a down year for him -- they are what we can expect again.
-- Jason Grey
Health issues have challenged Noah Lowry in the last few years, most recently wiping out his entire 2008 season. This has to be disheartening for a young pitcher who showed so much promise when he first joined the bigs. Remembering that first season is perhaps why he continues to plod along through each rehab stint. Lowry, shut down last year with compartment syndrome in his left (throwing) forearm followed by elbow surgery, has already been bothered by shoulder pain this spring. A visit to Dr. James Andrews resulted in an injection into what was otherwise termed a structurally sound shoulder. Lowry is still optimistic that he can provide an option for the Giants later this season, but cumulative arm injuries do not historically bode well for pitchers.
-- Stephania Bell
PRESEASON POWER RANKINGS