Three story lines to watch during Giants spring training 

click to enlarge If Tim Lincecum can bounce back from a subpar season, it will bolster an already-strong Giants starting rotation. - DARRON CUMMINGS/AP
  • Darron Cummings/AP
  • If Tim Lincecum can bounce back from a subpar season, it will bolster an already-strong Giants starting rotation.

Freak show

Tim Lincecum endured the worst season of his career last year, posting an NL-worst 5.18 ERA. However, he shined out of the bullpen in the postseason with a 2.55 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 17²/³  innings. All eyes will be on his right arm this spring as he enters a contract season.

Closing the door

For the first time in several years, the Giants enter the season without Brian Wilson as their closer. While the “Fear the Beard” inspiration is still looking for work, the Giants have moved on. Sergio Romo will be asked to make the bulk of the saves, though others will step in at times. Romo was dynamic in the postseason, but whether he can do the job for an entire season remains to be seen.

Batter up

Youngsters Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford showed the ability to be elite defenders at the big-league level last season, but neither was able to become a consistent threat at the plate. If either one, or both, can take the next step offensively, it would give the Giants’ lineup a tremendous boost. Spring will be key for the infielders to show growth.

 

Giants' spring training schedule

February
23     vs. Angels (ss)    12:05 p.m.
24     at Cubs    12:05 p.m.
25     vs. White Sox    12:05 p.m.
26     at Dodgers    12:05 p.m.
27     at Angels    12:05 p.m.
28     vs. Mariners    12:05 p.m.

March
1     at A’s    12:05 p.m.
2     vs. Cubs    12:05 p.m.
2     at Royals    12:05 p.m.
3     vs. Diamondbacks    12:05 p.m.
4     at White Sox    12:05 p.m.
5     at Indians    12:05 p.m.
6     No game
7     at Indians    12:05 p.m.
8     vs. Dodgers (ss)    12:05 p.m.
9     vs. Royals    12:05 p.m.
10     at Brewers    1:05 p.m.
11     at Rangers    1:05 p.m.
12     vs. Padres    7:05 p.m.
13     at Reds    1:05 p.m.
14     vs. WBC    1:05 p.m.
15     vs. Rangers    1:05 p.m.
16     vs. Reds (ss)    1:05 p.m.
16    at Indians    1:05 p.m.
17     vs. Rockies    3:15 p.m.
18     No game
19     at Mariners    7:05 p.m.
20     vs. Brewers    1:05 p.m.
20     at Padres    1:05 p.m.
21     vs. Rockies    7:05 p.m.
22     at Rockies (ss)    1:10 p.m.
23     vs. A’s    1:05 p.m.
24     at Angels    1:05 p.m.
25     at Cubs    1:05 p.m.
26     vs. Padres    1:05 p.m.
27     at Diamondbacks    1:10 p.m.
28     vs. A’s*    7:15 p.m.
29     vs. A’s*    7:15 p.m.
30     at A’s**    1:05 p.m.

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