GIANTS ROSTER BREAKDOWN
ROTATION: RHP Matt Cain, LHP Madison Bumgarner, RHP Tim Lincecum, RHP Tim Hudson, RHP Ryan Vogelsong. After years of setting the organization's pace, the starting staff had a 4.37 combined ERA last season, ranking 14th in the National League. It was the first time since 2008 that the Giants starters fell outside the N.L.'s top five in ERA. Bumgarner (2.77 ERA) and Cain (2.36 second-half ERA) are as good a duo as any in the game, but the Giants need much more from Lincecum and Vogelsong, both of whom re-signed in the offseason. Hudson gives this group a fifth former All-Star.
BULLPEN: RHP Sergio Romo, LHP Javier Lopez, LHP Jeremy Affeldt, RHP Santiago Casilla, RHP Yusmeiro Petit. Romo excelled in his first season as closer, but the Giants struggled to get him leads and have more question marks than usual in their 'pen. Affeldt is coming off a disappointing year, but when right, he's the key for this group, capable of neutralizing lefties and righties. A pack of right-handers will compete for the open jobs.
CATCHERS: Buster Posey, Hector Sanchez: In the second half last season, Sanchez outpaced Posey in homers (3 to 2) and OPS (.692 and .643) and tied the face of the franchise in RBIs (16). Posey, no longer the reigning MVP, bulked up in the offseason, aiming to avoid another late-summer fade.
INFIELDERS: Brandon Belt, Marco Scutaro, Brandon Crawford, Pablo Sandoval, Joaquin Arias. Same names, same spots — and if Sandoval stays healthy and Belt keeps developing, the infield could have All-Stars at both corners. Belt hit .346 with seven homers after an early-August swing change and has settled into the No. 3 spot. Crawford tailed off after hurting two fingers in late June, but there's still plenty of upside in the 27-year-old's bat.
OUTFIELDERS: Hunter Pence, Angel Pagan, Michael Morse, Gregor Blanco. After Andres Torres, Jeff Francoeur and Kensuke Tanaka combined for 364 at-bats last season, the Giants signed Morse to be an everyday left fielder. The former 30-homer slugger could give the Giants an intriguing presence in the lineup's seventh slot. Pence takes an N.L.-best 171-game starting streak into the season and has vowed to live up to his fresh $90 million deal. If Juan Perez joins Blanco behind the starters, Bochy could have two of the league's best defensive outfielders available off his bench late in games.
-- Alex Pavlovic