Locks: Juan Uribe (2B/SS), Freddy Sanchez (2B), Edgar Renteria (SS)
On the Bubble: Eugenio Velez (2B), Emmanuel Burriss (2B/SS)
First One In: Matt Downs
First One Out: Kevin Frandsen* (traded to the Red Sox yesterday for PTBNL and cash)
The injury to Freddy Sanchez still has the Giants very thin in the middle infield. Juan Uribe (pictured), if he performs up to last year's standard, will fill in nicely at second until Sanchez gets back, and then go back to being the super-utility man, giving Pablo Sandoval and Edgar Renteria some much-needed rest.
Renteria claimed that last year's offensive struggles were due to the bone chips floating around in his elbow. Many dismissed that as an excuse, citing his age and general wearing down of his game.
But this spring Renteria hearkened back to his days with the Atlanta Braves, showing a much better swing that produced a solid .277 average. More importantly, he looked a lot more comfortable pulling the ball and also connected on two home runs.
I know that Burriss is out for 10 weeks with another screw in his foot, but he's still on the bubble for me because he provides something that the Giants lack past Uribe, and that's a backup who can play both second and short. He had an impressive spring debut as well, hitting two doubles before leaving the game with another broken bone in his foot.
Velez is only on this list because he can play second in a pinch, as can Mark DeRosa. But their lack of versatility on both sides of the bag is a problem.
That's also what pushed Frandsen out the door. He's good enough that he can play in the majors, but there was just never any space for him in the Giants system after he ruptured his Achilles in 2008.
He could play third base, but then Pablo Sandoval came into the picture. He was penciled in a second, but with the emergence of Burriss and the trade for Sanchez, he became expendable there as well. He was traded to the Red Sox, where he'll be united with long-time friend and fellow NorCal native Dustin Pedroia.
Matt Downs is also a second baseman, but he'd probably be more content as a backup than Frandsen would have been. Downs also impressed with a .355 average in 31 at-bats this spring.
The Giants have also been said to be searching for a backup middle infielder on the trade market, dangling Lewis.