San Francisco Giants 2011 Opening Day Roster: The Last Bench Spot

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San Francisco Giants 2011 Opening Day Roster: The Last Bench Spot
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

As Opening Day draws nearer, major league rosters are beginning to take  definite shape. Clubs have evaluated the talent within their systems, and have made the easy decisions. Hopeful youngsters have been told that they need at least one more year to mature, and aging vets hoping for one last shot have been sent home. Now is the time for the tough choices: who is the last player to get cut?

For the San Francisco Giants, there is contention for spots both on the bench and in the bullpen. Jeff Suppan, Ryan Vogelsong and Dan Runzler are all making their respective cases for a spot alongside established veterans Brian Wilson, Sergio Romo, Jeremy Affeldt, Javier Lopez, Ramon Ramirez and Santiago Casilla.

Position players Emanuel Burriss and Brandon Belt are on the outside looking in, wondering how they can force their way into an already crowded infield that houses Mike Fontenot and Mark DeRosa off the bench.

Eli Whiteside and Pat Burrell have established roles on the squad, and will without a doubt return for 2011. Aaron Rowand is almost assured a roster spot because of his enormous contract, leaving Nate Schierholtz and Travis Ishikawa fighting for the fifth and final bench spot. Here are three reasons why it does not matter which of the two gets cut.

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