San Francisco Giants: Players Turning Heads Early at Spring Training

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San Francisco Giants: Players Turning Heads Early at Spring Training
Chris Carlson/Associated Press

As spring progresses and players settle into their roles on the baseball diamond, the San Francisco Giants have already learned a lot about their team's potential.  The starting pitching, including newcomer Tim Hudson, has been solid, and several players are stepping up their game in hopes of either solidifying their starting spot or earning a roster spot altogether.

On the mound, right-hander Tim Lincecum is silencing critics who say his best years are behind him.  In just over nine innings pitched, Lincecum has posted a solid 1.93 ERA and a 1-0 record.  Right-hander Matt Cain, last season's Opening Day starter, also appears to have returned to form, not allowing a run and surrendering only one hit in eight innings pitched.

After struggling in his first few starts, right-hander Ryan Vogelsong rebounded for an excellent start Thursday against the Texas Rangers, only allowing one run in five innings.

Gregory Bull/Associated Press

With the projected five-man rotation performing well, up-and-comers are also making a name for themselves.  In a matchup against the Los Angeles Dodgers and ace Clayton Kershaw, 21-year-old Edwin Escobar pitched well against the perennial Cy Young candidate.

Catcher Buster Posey is having a banner spring training.  Currently, the slugger is batting .450 with a home run and six RBI.  Utility infielder Joaquin Arias has also enjoyed success at the plate, cementing his role as the go-to infielder off the bench.  Arias is batting .391 in nine games thus far.

In the outfield, new addition Mike Morse has displayed his power already, though it has not been reflected in his numbers.  Morse was robbed of not one, but two home runs in a February game against the Oakland Athletics by outfielder Josh Reddick.

Shortstop Ehire Adrianza is turning heads as well.  He has already smashed two home runs, a double and a triple, making a case for himself as a second utility infielder for the Giants.

However, he has competition from shortstop Brandon Hicks, who is on a hot streak at the plate.  In a contest against the Dodgers, Hicks slammed a two-run home run off Clayton Kershaw.  After a slow start, Hicks has now recorded five doubles along with a home run to complement a .318 average.

As the spring months chug along, the Giants will keep their eyes on their higher performers.  There's more action to come in the upcoming weeks before Opening Day.

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