It isn't difficult to pick out who doesn't belong in this foursome. It's Edgar Renteria.
Rich Aurilia was and always will be a fan favorite, spending his most productive seasons in San Francisco where he spent 12 of his 15 major league seasons. In 2001, Aurilia led the Giants with 206 hits and hit a career high 37 home runs. He was a staple of the great Giants teams in the late 90's and early 00's, playing a huge role on the 2002 World Series team.
Omar Vizquel was clearly at the tail end of his career when the Giants signed him prior to the 2005 season. However, unlike Renteria, Vizquel was still dominant in at least one phase of baseball.
Despite being nearly 38-years-old when the Giants signed him, Vizquel showed his worth defensively by winning two more gold gloves with the Giants. But it wasn't like Vizquel was an automatic out, he posted an impressive .295 average in 2006 with the Giants.
Not only did Vizquel's on field wizardry make him a fan favorite, but his ability to give a great interview helped out as well. Despite playing for the Giants during losing seasons, Vizquel always had a smile on his face.
Juan Uribe was left for dead after a disappointing 2008 campaign but this past season the Giants invited the former White Sox shortstop to their Spring Training camp and the veteran made the club. Uribe went on to gain playing time throughout the year after starting out as mainly a utility guy. In 398 at-bats, Uribe hit for a career high single season average (in a season with at-least 300 AB), as he hit .289, knocked out 16 bombs and drove in 55 RBI.
In Just one season with the Giants, Uribe became a fan favorite with his visible joy on the field and loosey-goosey attitude. Plus his broken English in post-game interviews was still entertaining to try and understand because of the liveliness in his delivery.
If the shortstop had been given 500 AB, he would have hit at-least 20 home runs when you adjust the flat numbers but since he spent the first two-three months as utility, he obviously wasn't in a groove. In fact, Uribe didn't hit his first home run until June ninth.
Prior to June ninth, Uribe already had 101 AB under his belt. Therefore he actually hit 16 home runs in the span of 297 AB. Uribe was essentially on pace for a 27-home run season from the ninth of June, onward.
Yet the Giants are questioning whether or not to bring him back?
Fans are stating that there is a .005 percent chance that Uribe will take the over the starting shortstop position from Renteria?
What is this idiocy?
Edgar Renteria is on his last year of two-year contract and is owed just nine million dollars. It is not as if he is on year three of a 126 million dollar deal. Cutting Renteria wouldn't nearly cost the Giants as much as it would have to cut Zito after his first two disastrous seasons in San Francisco.
Like mentioned above, at least the aging Vizquel gave the Giants some benefit. He could still play the position of shortstop at the highest level. Edgar Renteria can't hit or play defense.
So why is it assumed by the masses that Renteria will be back? Granted Giants GM Brian Sabean isn't the type of man who admits mistakes but really, how can he defend Renteria being in the opening day starting lineup next season?
Renteria is the exact opposite of all the Giants' shortstops of recent years. He has zero personality that makes its way to the fans, he has zero range at shortstop, he has little to no power, limited speed, can't hit for average, has a terrible on-base percentage and gives an incredibly dull interview.
The Giants organization can't have a shortstop who doesn't do any of these things well.
San Francisco fans have been treated to shortstops who are engaging, talented and productive on the field.
Renteria is none of these things.
When a team is looking to upgrade their offense, keeping one of their worst offensive performers in the starting lineup from year to year makes no sense at all.
It's one thing when Aaron Rowand is still due $36 million for three seasons and cutting him would put the Giants in a major financial hole. But Renteria has just a measly one-year left on his contract.
Perhaps the Giants will end up starting Uribe at third, moving Sandoval to first and continuing to play Renteria. This would essentially end the development of Travis Ishikawa.
But just as the Giants featured columnists at Bleacher Report have already asked their readers, who would you rather have in your lineup?
Renteria? Or Ishikawa.
The answer is hands down Ishikawa.
San Francisco's main first baseman of a year go is by far superior to Renteria defensively as well as being a better offensive threat. He hit four more home runs in 134 fewer AB then Renteria and coincidentally posted a .715 OPS compared to Renteria's anemic .635.
With Bengie Molina and Randy Winn's contracts coming off the books, the Giants have some financial breathing room. Therefore letting Renteria walk wouldn't be the worst move in the world.
The Giants can make their bottom tier offense better by simply removing three horrendous hitters from their lineup. Molina, Winn, and Renteria out of the lineup will be huge for next season's success. Remember that when you subtract a negative number from another number it equals a positive. Two negatives equal a positive. This isn't rocket science, it's sixth grade math.
Considering the marquee free-agent hitters aren't going to want to play in San Francisco, the Giants should continue to do what they do best. They should rely on their young and talented pitching staff to lead the team. However, instead of relying on washed up veterans as offense, let the young and unproven guys take over.
A lineup next season of the following:
1. Velez LF
2. Sanchez 2B
3. Schierholtz RF
4. Sandoval 3B
5. Uribe SS
6. Posey C
7. Rowand CF
8. Ishikawa 1B
This would be naturally better all the way around without adding any new faces. This lineup is better defensively, offensively and is much younger and eager to prove the naysayers wrong.
This lineup could happen if the Giants are willing to part ways with Renteria.
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