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Relief pitching is one of the most valuable and undervalued aspects of the game. The San Francisco Giants have both realized and capitalized on this. The bullpen is the most flexible part of the team as there is always good help available on the trade market and sometimes even available in the minor leagues.
Closer, Brian Wilson
The beard will once again be the closer this year for the Giants. He is an offseason workout warrior so I expect him to address the injuries that forced him the disabled list on multiple occasions last year. However, the Giants' brand of baseball will force Wilson into a lot of save opportunities and a smart front office should have contingency plans available.
Middle relief, Sergio Romo
The eighth inning should be all Romo's this year. He has always been nearly unhittable against right-handed hitters but has shown an ability to be nearly as dominant against left-handers as well. It should be his turn to close if Wilson is unable to do so and it is possible he could be the closer of the future if Wilson becomes too expensive.
Middle relief, Jeremy Affeldt
Its not often that a team has two top flight left-handed relief pitchers but the Giants have precisely that. Javier Lopez allows the Giants to use Jeremy Affeldt in a more traditional role. The presence of Lopez also makes Affeldt expendable and he has been the subject of trade talks. Possibly for a middle infielder.
Middle relief, Santiago Casilla
Santiago Casilla filled in admirably for Brian Wilson last year gaining six saves. He should be typically used in the sixth or seventh innings this year.
Lefty specialist, Javier Lopez
Never has Javier Lopez been more valuable than in the 2010 NLCS as he shut down Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. His continued dominance of left-handers make him an indispensable asset against the likes of Utley, Howard, Fielder and an assortment of other dangerous left-handed hitters.
Long relief, Guillermo Mota
I could never figure out how Mota's ERA was nearing four last year. Every time I watched him he was lights out and shined in a long relief role. Being 39 years of age should be a bit of a red flag but he has shown no signs of slowing down.
That shows six relief spots taken out of eight barring any trades. Ramon Ramirez would have been the clear choice to fill a spot if not for his recent trade. Other options include Dan Runzler, Heath Hembree, Steve Edelfsen, or another free agent.