San Francisco Giants: 5 Biggest Questions to Answer Before Opening Day
The San Francisco Giants have a number of question marks heading into the 2012 season.
Spring training is underway and the answers to these questions are being addressed.
The returns of Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez will be closely monitored but there are other issues that will also require some focus.
The month of March figures to be eventful for the Giants, and here are five of the biggest questions that need to be answered before opening day.
Can Buster Run the Bases?
The Giants are taking it slow with Buster Posey, who sat out of the Giants' spring opener on Saturday.
The question remains how Posey's ankle will react on the basepaths when it comes time to slide or leg out a double.
There is plenty of time for Posey to work his way back before opening day, but the question will remain until he runs the bases without a problem in a game.
Can Freddy Sanchez Throw Without Pain?
The Giants would love to have their second baseman Freddy Sanchez in the lineup on opening day.
The question will be whether Sanchez is able to throw without pain or if he needs more time to recover.
Sanchez is a very important piece at the top of the Giants' batting order, and whether or not he will be able to play second base in the opener is a huge question that needs answering.
Will Brian Wilson Be Ready?
Giants closer Brian Wilson is still working to get fully healthy in anticipation of the 2012 season.
His 2011 campaign was cut short by elbow issues, and it is not yet clear whether this problem will linger.
Wilson has been a mainstay at the closer role for the Giants, and not having him available would require some restructuring of the bullpen.
Hopes are that Wilson will be ready to go, but the question remains until opening day.
Which Aubrey Huff Will Appear in 2012?
Huff was an offensive leader in 2010 before struggling a season ago.
The Giants have young options Brett Pill and Brandon Belt should Huff show an inability to produce offensively at first base this season.
The next month will prove critical in determining whether Huff can get back to the form he displayed in 2010.
Fans and coaches alike will continue to deal with the question of Huff's role until the season begins, by which time it is pivotal that the Giants know if Huff will be reliable or a bench player in 2012.
Can Barry Zito Be a Reliable Starter?
Barry Zito has been a question mark on the roster for the past few seasons.
He came to the Giants as a highly touted free agent but has not pitched like one.
Zito is a former ace who is now fighting for the last spot on the starting rotation .
If Zito cannot prove that he is prepared to contribute in 2012 the Giants will have to look for other options.
The question of whether Barry Zito can be a reliable starter in the rotation will be asked repeatedly over the next month.