Giants Roster Breakdown
It's a familiar group -- a championship group -- and one that will open the season in a different order. Cain is in line for his first opening day start, and Bumgarner and Vogelsong would be aces on most staffs. After years of spring tinkering, Zito comes into the final season of his monster contract with a clear mind and postseason hero status. With no jobs to be won, all eyes will be squarely on Lincecum and his new look as tries to bounce back from the worst season of his career.
The post-Brian Wilson era kicks off with another bushy beard, Sergio Romo, as the closer. The Giants will watch Romo's workload and his elbow closely this spring and throughout the season. Everyone but Kontos will participate in the WBC, so spring innings will be sopped up by the dozens of extra arms in camp. At least one of them will win a big league job by the end of March.
Posey eschewed the WBC in order to have an uninterrupted camp, and he'll find that last spring's questions about his ankle will be replaced by a far more palatable one: What does the MVP do for an encore? Sanchez, still just 23, is beloved by pitchers and looking to take a step forward at the plate, where he hit .280 but drew only five walks.
In flux a year ago, this group has four starters locked into place. Crawford and Belt have room to grow, but Sandoval is the one to watch here. He was limited to just 108 games last season because of injuries, but as Justin Verlander can attest, Sandoval has all the tools to put up an MVP season. As always, the Giants will closely watch his conditioning. There's a utility job to be won here, and Tony Abreu, Nick Noonan, Brock Bond and Kensuke Tanaka are among those who will attempt to snag it.
Here's hoping Bruce Bochy opens camp with a 40-yard dash among Pagan, Blanco and Torres, who was a fan-favorite in 2010 and 2011 but hit just .230 last season with the Mets. Pence won't be giving any speeches, but he is in a contract year and eager to prove that his rough second half was a fluke. There are few openings on the roster, but the team is still looking for a fifth outfielder.
-- ALEX PAVLOVIC