The San Francisco Giants will enter spring training in 2013 with very few available 25-man roster openings barring injury.
The starting five is all but set with Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Ryan Vogelsong, Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum all returning.
The starting infield five is also set with Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Marco Scutaro, Brandon Crawford and Pablo Sandoval.
The starting outfield has four players with an Gregor Blanco/Andres Torres platoon in left field, Angel Pagan entrenched in center field and Hunter Pence in right field.
The bullpen will be returning its core six relievers in Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla, Jeremy Affeldt, Javier Lopez, George Kontos and Jose Mijares.
With Hector Sanchez likely to return as Buster Posey’s backup and Joaquin Arias returning as the super utility infielder, the Giants have three spots on the roster available to be won during spring training.
It is easy to assume that, based on previous years, the Giants will carry an extra pitcher to start the season which would leave two available positions to be won by an extra outfielder and an extra infielder.
I have looked over the team’s current 40 man roster as well as the list of non-roster invitees. The players on the following slides are best suited to push for a final roster spot on Opening Day 2013 based on their experience, their capabilities and the likely needs of the team.
*Note: All statistics cited in this article were researched at Baseball Reference.