Talking Giants Baseball: A San Francisco Giants/Baseball Blog: Giants go 1-1-1 in Cactus League Opening Weekend; Hector Sanchez Deserves the Backup Catcher Role

Monday, March 5, 2012

Giants go 1-1-1 in Cactus League Opening Weekend; Hector Sanchez Deserves the Backup Catcher Role

If there is one positive sign from this weekend's 1-1-1 Cactus League opening start, it is that there are signs of life.

The Giants scored 18 runs in three spring training contests (albeit one of the games was a split squad with their "B" lineup). In doing so, the Giants looked like a faster, more athletic team and not the station-to-station snoozer offense the Giants displayed in the last couple of years.

Yes, the home runs will be less, but the runs will be there. San Francisco has also added more seasoned, professional hitters such as Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan, who both did excellent in their two games.

In Sunday's 11-1 victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks, each went 2-for-4, with an RBI from Pagan that day. For the spring, both are 3-for-7 (.429) and hitting the ball with authority and confidence--even on outs.

Another competition may emerge at first base. Brett Pill and Brandon Belt 3-for-6 and 4-for-8 respectively so far this spring. The incumbent, Aubrey Huff, is 2-for-5 and could be ousted in 2012 if he does not perform in spring training or the first half of the regular season.

The Giants proved last year they have no patience with over-the-hill veterans who do not produce, no matter how much they are paid.

By Cbl62 (via Wikimedia Commons)
To me, Huff's key to success is take more walks, swing at strikes, and go the opposite way more like he did in 2010.

Another bright spot so far this preseason is Hector Sanchez, who is vying for the backup catcher role to compliment Buster Posey. Sanchez, in two games, went 4-for-5, with a home run and four RBI.

Sanchez's counterparts, Chris Stewart and Eli Whiteside, will certainly have their hands full this preseason. Sanchez is coming off a winter ball season where he scorched the ball, hitting .339 with 9 home runs and 39 RBI in 51 games.

Here is my two cents on the catching situation...

Do whatever you can to inject offense into the Giants' lineup, and yes, that means sending Eli Whiteside and Chris Stewart down to Fresno or cutting them. Hector Sanchez is a blossoming young hitter who deserves a chance, and although his catching skills need work, he will only get better with major league experience as Buster Posey's backup catcher.

Whiteside and Stewart will just cost the Giants outs in their lineup, something they cannot afford to have. These two hitters are already over 30 and are unlikely to hit any better than .250 at any point in their future careers.

It is time that the Giants do more of seeing what players have--not what they have left. Sanchez is definitely worth a closer look in the big leagues.


A rather interesting moment occurred at the ballpark yesterday.

In the top of the second inning, a swarm of bees infiltrated Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, delaying the game for 41 minutes. As the bees moved in from the outfield towards the infield, Diamondbacks and Giants players exited the field.

The bees made their way to the Giants' first-base dugout. Grounds-crew personnel and local fire officials were summoned to get rid of them.

You can see pictures of the bees in this article.

Giants' broadcaster Jon Miller described the workers trying to rid the bees as something you would see out of the movie Ghostbuster's. They wore space-men like suits that protected the workers from head to toe.

Runners were at second and third with nobody out at the time of the delay. There was no score.

When play resumed, Giants' catcher Hector Sanchez ripped a single bringing in the first run of the game.

You never know what you will see when you come to the ballpark. Baseball is back folks!

Information used in this article came from

1 comment:

  1. I totally believe H.Sanchez deserves the backup catcher role. I can't take another year of Whiteside and/or Stewart stinking it up. That would be most awful!!!


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