The San Francisco Giants are going to have many decisions to make in the outfield. Cody Ross will return from a torn calf injury in less than two weeks. The biggest decision of all may be what to do with outfielder Aaron Rowand.
Third baseman, Pablo Sandavol, leads all starters with a .440 average thus far into the season. The stat line most may not see is the fact that Aaron Rowand leads the team with a .600 average in 10 at bats.
Rowand currently has a home run and 2 RBIs, including a game winning single in the 12th inning of the Giants home opener. The fact that Pat Burrell is still hitting a team-worse .174, may force the Giants to take Burrell out of the lineup. This is going to be a very difficult decision as Burrell leads all Giants' hitters with three home runs. All three have been solo home runs though.
The Giants defense has looked somewhat shaky in the early going and Pat Burrell is not helping the cause. Aaron Rowand won a gold glove back in 2007 and has pretty good speed. Rowand was in the starting lineup to start out the season last year, and was benched after getting hit in the head and suffering a concussion. This ultimately gave way to current center fielder Andres Torres.
Aaron Rowand is currently the third highest paid Giants player at $13,600,000. He only trails Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum, in that order. Rowand is getting paid way too much, that is a no-brainer. The Giants should take Burrell out of the lineup due to the fact that he is only a designated hitter this far into his career. Burrell can't go everyday anymore and is only getting paid $1,000,000.
The fact is that Aaron Rowand should have a chip on his shoulder as he did very little last season as the Giants went on and won the World Series without him. Rowand has come out hungry as he is 6-10 and has thrived in every situation that coach Bruce Bochy has placed him in.
The solution to the Aaron Rowand effect has many possible outcomes. The Giants could throw Rowand into the lineup and let him ride out his hot streak to give their third highest player another chance. Another possibility could be that the Giants could try to shop either Pat Burrell or Rowand. Pat Burrell would be a perfect fit on any American League team as a designated hitter. The Giants may not be able to trade Aaron Rowand, but his hot streak could say otherwise.
All the decisions the Giants are going to have to make are a great thing for a team that just won the World Series. This team has some serious depth, and that could power them to another playoff run. With Torres, Huff, Burrell, Rowand, Derosa, and Schierholtz all fighting for at bats in the outfield, the Giants have more than enough to re-create another magical year.