The Cove
Deep coverage of the Giants

Giants Finalize Youthful Opening Day Roster

The Giants finalized their Opening-Day roster and it's surprisingly full of youth on the offensive side of things.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Turns out Brandon Belt will make the opening day roster for the San Francisco Giants.

    As we've noted, the expectations placed on the 2012 Giants are different than the expectations placed on the 2011 Giants. And maybe that's not a bad thing: this year's team, as evidenced by the Opening Day roster, will definitely be different.

    2012's rendition has an emphasis placed on youth (!) and offense, which isn't typical of Giants teams in recent past.

    Brandon Belt, Brett Pill, Hector Sanchez and Dan Otero -- all young, homegrown talent -- made the final cuts to end up on the roster.

    Sanchez, who will back up Buster Posey behind the plate, was somewhat of a surprise addition. Not because he didn't have a good spring (he did), but because his addition was a direct result of a surprising trade that sent Chris Stewart to the Yankees on Wednesday.

    "He's done a good job. He's earned this," manager Bruce Bochy said of Sanchez. "It's hard not to look at what he's done this spring and the job he's done behind the plate. We're a team that can use a little bit of offense, and we think he's going to give us that."

    Belt's addition on the roster is interesting as well and it could also provide a little bit of offense as well. Several weeks ago it looked like he wouldn't make the cut, and now Bruce Bochy's hinting that Belt is going to be the starter at first base, with Aubrey Huff moved to the outfield.

    Pill landed on the roster as a result of Bochy and Brian Sabean's decision not to go with three catchers (either the third being Eli Whiteside or Stewart, pre-trade).

    "We did contemplate going with three catchers for quite a while, but we decided we needed another guy on the bench to help us out more than a third catcher," Bochy said.

    Additional moves include putting Freddy Sanchez, Ryan Vogelsong, Eric Surkamp and Dan Runzler on the disabled list (all retroactive to March 26, except for Vogey, who's retroactive until March 27). San Francisco optioned Whiteside to Triple-A, along with pitcher Steve Edlefsen.

    Jean Machi, Justin Christian and Joaquin Arias were all reassigned to Fresno.

    Suddenly, the Giants roster is kind of transformed. Last year, Miguel Tejada, Pat Burrell and Aaron Rowand were all on the roster and prepared to get serious burn.

    Now? It's younger guys like Melky Cabrera, Angel Pagan and all the aforementioned homegrown players. It's an interesting and subtle shift from Sabean and Bochy. And it could pay off big time if it means progression instead of some of the regression we've seen in the past few years.