Fred Lewis' future was already in heavy doubt last season, when Nate Schierholtz's surprisingly good offensive numbers in May put him on the bench. Furthermore, he lost even more ground when Velez put up his hot streak in late July and early August.
That being said, Lewis seems to be one of their best outfield options mainly for one reason: his OBP.
The Giants ranked last in OBP last year, and according to Jack Moore of Fangraphs, Lewis may be the Giants' best option when it comes to offense. Lewis had a .348 OBP last year, and according to Bill James and CHONE projections, he is expected to put up a .351 and .344 OBP, respectively.
Couple that with increases in his stolen bases (BJ projects him to steal 13 bases, CHONE projects 11, both projections up from the eight he had last year) and home runs (BJ and CHONE have him at seven and eight, respectively) and Lewis seems to be an enticing option.
However, the Huff signing definitely seems to put a wrench in Lewis' future. With Huff most likely playing first base (unless Bud Selig decides to add the DH in the National League), DeRosa probably will get bumped into left field.
That leaves a unique backup situation in Left Field among Lewis, Velez, John Bowker and Andres Torres. Bowker most likely will go to Triple-A to start the season, and Torres may be better utilized in Center as a backup to Rowand. Thus, the battle is between Velez and Lewis.
If you go by last year, Velez probably will gain more favor by some fans because of his spectacular couple of weeks when he was on fire. That being said, if you are a more knowledgeable fan, Lewis should be the go-to guy because of his consistency.
He wasn't awful, but he wasn't fantastic by any measure. The main question is which aspect is manager Bruce Bochy more impressed with: Velez's brief, spectacular play? Or Lewis' slightly above average consistency?
Prediction: Lewis most likely will get the boot unless he has a great Spring Training. Unlike Velez, there probably is actually a decent market for Lewis (because of his plate patience and decent speed), and it wouldn't be surprising to see the Giants get some return on Lewis by or right before the end of Spring Training.
Whatever happens, seeing Lewis in a Giants uniform by Opening Day isn't a strong possibility.