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San Francisco Giants, 2011 Spring Training News: Giants Have Options With Bench Players

SB Nation’s Rob Neyer wrote a nice little piece today about the San Francisco Giants hitting options coming off the bench, and the effect their decisions will have when it comes to playing time of the starters.

The three players he focuses on are Aaron Rowand, Nate Schierholtz, and Travis Ishikawa, all who played an integral part on the Giants championship season last year, but unfortunately, someone will have to be the odd man out. here’s a little breakdown from his piece on the three players (excerpt from USA Today’s Gabe Laques article about players on the bubble:

Aaron Rowand/Travis Ishikawa/Nate Schierholtz, Giants: Ishikawa, 26, and Schierholtz, 27, are both veteran, valued super subs who are out of minor league options. Rowand is due to make $12 million this year and next. The Giants could simply release Rowand, but it would be hard to stomach eating $24 million in salary. Were they to trade him, they’d have to pick up almost all of his salary anyway.

Rowand and Schierholtz are probably the guys that will be kept seeing that Aaron’s contract is just too much to dump and Nate is too valuable as a utility outfielder and pinch hitter. Ishikawa is a player I really like, but would be a third string first baseman behind Aubrey Huff and Brandon Belt, or an extra outfielder in an already crowded outfield. He seems to be the least valuable to the club right now, despite his expertise as a pinch hitting specialist, and an all around good guy. Here’s what Travis told the San Jose Mercury News’ Alex Pavlovic a few days ago about the possibility of being cut from the Giants:

“I’ve been around this game long enough to see things, and you hear things,” he said. “You know it’s a business, and they’re going to do the best possible thing for the organization.”

Class act all the way.