Fan’s view: Figuring out the Giants’ 2012 starting lineup

Between now and next season, the San Francisco Giants' lineup is bound to undergo some huge changes. Still, the starting lineup on opening day may not look too different, but that will not hold true all season long. Everyone knows that the team needs to upgrade its offense—and defense in some cases—to remain competitive in the National League West. The "three runs and we win" formula will not work in a year when more of the offense would decline.

With that in mind, here is what I think the lineup will look like on Day 1:

C: Buster Posey(notes)

1B: Aubrey Huff(notes)

2B: Freddy Sanchez(notes)

3B: Pablo Sandoval(notes)

SS: Brandon Crawford(notes)

LF: Brandon Belt(notes)

CF: Cody Ross(notes)

RF: Nate Schierholtz(notes)

Luckily, everyone that should be in the lineup will be healthy by then, barring any random injuries. Aubrey Huff has one year left on his contract, so he will be back in 2012 and should remain at first if his production still exists. Until he leaves, Brandon Belt could and just might move over to left field where he spent time at in the minors. Miguel Tejada(notes) will not be a starter, but I can see him as a bench player. Pablo Sandoval and Nate Schierholtz are playing hot offense and defense right now with their 2012 spots already solidified. Also, Cody Ross is the No. 2 outfielder. A couple players could find themselves traded for veteran talent, though.

In reality, I think a few changes will be made in the second half of 2012. Buster Posey could wear down very quickly throughout the first half due to his ankle due to the strain catching will place on him. On top of that, Huff is likely to continue to decline to the point where he is used mostly off the bench next season. I am still under the impression that Hector Sanchez(notes) will take over at catcher, and Posey will move to first base. Also, Freddy Sanchez could find himself used as a bench player, too, if he slumps or if San Francisco is willing to give Gary Culberson a shot.

The team could even split up some positions by trading for some veteran players and giving a couple prospects the occasional start. I tend to think that the Giants can solve any issues internally in the coming seasons, but that does not mean some outside trades would be worthless. Of course, the team needs to do what it can to stay competitive and keep on winning. Until then, I think my guess at the starting lineup is pretty good unless a trade is made.

What do you think?

For more information, visit The San Francisco Giants Site.

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Updated Tuesday, Jul 12, 2011