Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
When he's right, Marco Scutaro hits line drives all over the field.
After helping to lead the Giants to the 2012 world championship and being named MVP of the NLCS, Marco Scutaro endured a very tough 2013.
Scutaro dealt with a troublesome back that often kept him off the field. In addition, Scutaro was hit on the left pinkie finger in June, which caused a fracture and severe tendon damage. Although he tried to play through it, Scutaro ultimately went on the DL.
In 2013, Scutaro played in 127 games and had 488 at-bats. He hit .297, with two home runs, 31 RBI and 57 runs scored. His OBP was a solid .357, to go along with an OPS of .726.
Limited due to the back issues, Scutaro also did not play particularly well defensively. He committed 13 errors, the second most in his 12-year career. He was also limited in his range, so there were many other balls that he could not get to.
Scutaro has reported to camp and stated that his back feels good and his finger is healed, following surgery.
Also, Scutaro is 38 years of age, so manager Bruce Bochy will be focused on giving him periodic rest to keep him as fresh as possible.
The result is that the Giants' backup second baseman will see significant action. At this stage of the spring, the primary backup to Scutaro appears to be Tony Abreu.
Abreu has played parts of five seasons in the majors and has the inside track to being Scutaro's sub. In 2013, Abreu was slowed by soreness in his knee for much of the season.
Abreu was limited to 138 at-bats, hitting .268, with two home runs, 14 RBI and 21 runs scored. His OBP was .301 and he had an OPS of .743.
The knee also slowed Abreu defensively. Like Scutaro, his mobility was compromised.
Now, in the spring of 2014, Abreu's knee appears healthy, and he is the first in line for the backup second base job.
Abreu's experience and stronger track record as a hitter puts him in front of other candidates, Nick Noonan and Ehire Adrianza.
Noonan saw action at all of the infield positions in 2013, except for first base. Defensively, he was solid, but his offensive game needs improvement.
In 105 at-bats, Noonan hit only .219, with no home runs and five RBI. His OBP was a dismal .261 and his OPS was also too low, at .499. Noonan, who has minimal power, had only two extra-base hits, both doubles.
Noonan has also never distinguished himself with the bat in the minors, so these offensive struggles are somewhat to be expected. He has a career average of only .266 in seven minor league seasons. Do not look for Noonan to make the Giants roster, barring injury to one of their other infielders.
Adrianza was a September call-up last year and impressed the Giants with his defensive ability and speed. He also did something Noonan didn't—hitting a home run in his 18 at-bats.
In 2013, outside of his September promotion, Adrianza split time between Double-A and Triple-A. In 395 at-bats, he hit .266 with two home runs and 35 RBI. He also collected 17 stolen bases.
Adrianza showed good plate discipline, with an OBP of .360. His OPS was .720. These are both significantly higher than Noonan's Triple-A stats. Noonan's OBP was .323 and his OPS was .668.
At this point, unless something goes wrong this spring, both Noonan and Adrianza are destined to open the season in the minors.