Barry Bonds passing Babe Ruth in the all time home run record will be what the Giants’ 2006 season will be remembered for. The team has had an overhaul, getting rid of many of the out dated players and veterans, and replacing them with newer, younger talent, lowering the starting lineup’s average age to 35.
Alfonzo replaced Matheny in May of last year, and he started out hot. Unfortunately, he cooled down about as fast as he heated up. He will return in 2007, but as the backup for Bengie Molina, not as a starter. The Giants signed Molina to a three year, 16 million dollar deal, though no one else was offering him a more than one year contract. Molina’s defense isn’t quite were it used to be, he is still a considerable upgrade to Eliezer Alfonzo
Omar Vizquel will be the teams SS once again this year. Vizquel holds a record for the highest lifetime fielding percentage out of any short stop to play the game. He won his second consecutive gold glove in the 2006 season, and 11th overall, making only 4 errors with close to 600 chances. He set a record for the Giants as well, with a .993 fielding percentage. However, the Giants are going to have to do their part to keep him going through the year, seeing as how he is about to turn 40 in April.
Kevin Frandsen will be playing the San Francisco Giant’s utility position, a previous short stop and third baseman, in addition to his usual second base position. He was also serve as the primary backup infielder. He needs to improve on his patience, and hopefully we can see a higher batting average from him.
In the outfield we have Barry Bonds, Dave Roberts, and Randy Winn. In the last few years, the Giants have been lacking something very important in the outfield, speed. Dave Roberts will add this dimmension that has been so missed, as he is very swift-footed, steeling 49 bases out of 55 attempts, averaging about 39 a year over the last five years. Barry Bonds is still resuming his quest for the highest home run record of all time, though he is turning 43 in july, being another person that the team will have to try hard to keep going strong through the season.
For our starting pitchers, we have Barry Zito, Matt Cain, Matt Morris, Noah Lowry, and Russ Ortiz. Barry zito is fresh to the team, arriving from Oakland for this season. He will be the starting pitcher, in a lineup that is pure veterans(Morris and Ortiz) with fresh talent (Cain and Lowry).Though Zitto is the starter, Lowry has shown some talent that may allow him to surpass Zito as the lead ace. He is also a favorite among the team, locking him up with a four year contract at close to ten million dollars. Though both Morris and Lowry had very poor performances last year, we should see a huge improvement on both of their parts.