Spring Training will officially be kicked up a notch on Friday when the San Francisco Giants conduct their first full-squad workout at Scottsdale Stadium.
Every one of the team's 67 players will report except for minor league first baseman Angel Villalona, who's trying to untangle visa problems in the Dominican Republic.
Along with all of the players arriving are the many battles for starting spots and lineup placement that will commence.
At catcher, all Giants fans and front office personnel are hoping that Buster Posey will return to form. He will have Chris Stewart, Hector Sanchez and Eli Whiteside duking it out all spring in hopes of becoming his major-league backup.
In the infield, Brandon Belt will be competing with Aubrey Huff and Brett Pill at first base, a situation that will likely continue all year unless Belt really starts tearing the cover off the ball and never stops. Freddy Sanchez will return as the everyday second baseman, with Emmanuel Burriss available to spell him. At shortstop, Brandon Crawford is expected to earn the everyday role, but Burriss, Mike Fontenot and new acquisition Ryan Theriot are around to be the middle infield platoon, with minor leaguers Conor Gillaspie, Charlie Culberson and Ehire Adrianza waiting in the wings as potential breakout stars. Third base is set with Pablo Sandoval, of course.
In the outfield, Belt will again be fighting for a spot in the lineup, as he will be trying to get playing time in left field. New Giants Angel Pagan and Melky Cabrera are expected to be fixtures in the everyday lineup and Nate Schierholtz seems ready to be penciled in as the starting right fielder. The minor league outfielders on the 40-man roster are Tyler Graham, Roger Kieschnick and Francisco Peguero.
For more on the Giants, please check out McCovey Chronicles.