Carlos Beltran to San Francisco Giants: How the Lineup Could Look with Beltran
Beltran adds a lot talent to an offense that can use all the help it can get. Speed, power and experience are three areas that come to mind right away.
Although the Giants outfield was probably their deepest position, it's obvious Beltran needs to be starting every day, which means somebody has got to go.
1. Andres Torres
Andres Torres has got to be the leadoff hitter for the Giants.
While he hasn't been that hot at any point this season, Torres is still far better than having Aaron Rowand at the top of the lineup.
If Torres can improve his bat in the second half of the year to go along with his already fantastic speed and defense, the Giants will be in for a treat.
2. Jeff Keppinger
There's a reason Jeff Keppinger was brought to San Francisco.
He has an extremely hot bat this season, and has performed very well against left-handed pitchers. He needs to be at the top of the lineup.
Batting him fifth like the Giants chose to do on Wednesday isn't the best spot for him. Keppinger almost never strikes out, and having a bat that can put the ball into play at the top of the lineup is key.
3. Carlos Beltran
There are a number of spots you could put Carlos Beltran where he could be of value in the Giants lineup.
Considering Giants management gave up a top prospect for the chance to get Beltran for half of a year, they better have something good in mind.
Third, fourth or fifth would be the best spots to put Beltran, but I think he is a true No. 3 hitter and should be started there.
4. Pablo Sandoval
Pablo Sandoval has been excellent since his return from the disabled list last month.
He has been good as a No. 3 hitter in the Giants lineup, but he just hasn't gotten enough RBI opportunities at that spot.
If Bochy can put Beltran third, and bump Sandoval down to fourth, he should be able to produce even better than he has been.
5. Aubrey Huff
If Aubrey Huff's bat was as hot as it was last season, then starting him third or fourth would be fine with me.
The fact is Huff really hasn't done much this season and he doesn't deserve to be batted third.
Putting him fifth should give him more opportunities to produce, which could be an easy confidence booster and hopefully one that puts a spark in his bat.
6. Nate Schierholtz
"Nasty" Nate Schierholtz has been the best Giant offensively this season, in my humble opinion. That man is money!
Schierholtz has come up clutch in so many situations for the Giants and has won them countless games.
Starting Schierholtz or Cody Ross is a hard decision, and Bruce Bochy will most likely start both for the rest of the year. Still, I have to take Schierholtz over Ross, simply because of his clutch ability to produce runs in two-out situations.
7. Mike Fontenot
The shortstop position has been a struggle offensively for everyone that has played the position for the Giants this season.
I love the defense of Brandon Crawford, and put him a close second behind Mike Fontenot overall. Since Fontenot's offense is much better, I must lean toward him.
Bochy has been starting Fontenot second for a while, but I see him as more of a late-lineup hitter. His bat has a lot of ability, but he really hasn't shown anything to deserve a spot that high.
8. Eli Whiteside
Another position that has been extremely weak for the Giants is behind the dish.
Eli Whiteside and Chris Stewart are the best candidates to play the position at the moment (get well soon, Buster!), but it looks like Whiteside has been favored as of late.
He has struggled both offensively and defensively at times this season, but his bat has been decent recently, so I assume he'll get the majority of the chances for the rest of the year.
9. Pitcher's Spot
I wasn't sure whether to add a pitcher's spot to this list, only because it is obvious, but the Giants starting rotation has performed so superbly this season that I thought I'd give a shout-out.
We especially need to recognize the brilliant pitching of Ryan Vogelsong. Where would the Giants be without him?
If he had played horribly during Zito's absence, the Giants could be in a lot of trouble right now. Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner have also been amazing at times and deserve all the credit in the world for keeping the Giants at the top of the NL West.