With two World Series trophies in the last three seasons, the San Francisco Giants are no longer considered the Cinderalla team of baseball. They shouldn’t have been known as that to begin with one of the game’s best rotations. Though the Los Angeles Dodgers are armed with an assortment of superstars and an ownership group with unlimited pockets, and the Arizona Diamondbacks have cultivated an up-and-coming rotation, the Giants are still expected to capture the National League West title by many baseball pundits.
Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum, Ryan Vogelsong and Barry Zito return to give the Giants talented depth from the top to the bottom of the rotation.
Much of the Giants 2012 lineup remain intact as well. They let disgraced illegal PED user Melky Cabrera leave via free agency and will have an outfield composed of Gregor Blanco, Angel Pagan and Hunter Pence with Andres Torres providing depth at all three spots.
Backup catcher Hector Sanchez will see time behind the plate when Posey plays first. Belt will get action in left field, too.
Brian Wilson was not re-signed because of Sergio Romo‘s emergence as a reliable closer. A bullpen that includes Javier Lopez, Santiago Casilla, Jeremy Affeldt, George Kontos and Jose Mijares are expected to support Romo. Former Giants right-hander Ramon Ramirez is in camp as a non-roster invitee, and the club is high on power right-handed prospect Heath Hembree as an impact bullpen arm.
While chief NL West contenders Los Angeles and Arizona were busy in the offseason, the Giants were mostly quiet. They opted to re-sign Pagan and Scutaro, and keep Pence. The club believes that Lincecum will rebound from a dismal 2012 campaign, and that Vogelsong and Zito will remain steady in the back of the rotation.
The Dodgers will be the “sexy” pick to win the NL West in 2013, but it is difficult to argue with those who are reluctant to stray from a club that has won two World Series titles in three years and returns the most important element – all five members of a talented rotation.
About Scottsdale Stadium
Situated in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, Scottsdale Stadium is the exclusive spring training home of the San Francisco Giants.
Providing a stunning view of Camelback Mountain, the park has a capacity of 12,000 and is one of the largest Cactus League venues.
The recently refurbished stadium offers fans access to the entire concourse and new practice facilities. There are multiple Giants Dugout Stores across the park.
Metropolitan Phoenix is called the Valley of the Sun for good reason. There is 325-plus days of sunshine every year. A suburb of Phoenix, Scottsdale offers fans a myriad of activities to experience when they are not watching their team at Salt River Fields.
At night, Scottsdale springs to life with pulsating dance clubs, wild west-style saloons and upscale wine bars. Renowned art galleries and funky Old Town can be found in downtown Scottsdale, which boasts the nation’s third-largest artist community.
Care to shop while you’re in town? Fifth Avenue is known for its boutiques and Native American jewelry and crafts stores. Main Street and Marshall Way house a myriad of art galleries in different styles and interior-design shops.
Visitors can get a glimpse of what it was like a century ago at Old Town Scottsdale, which is billed as “The West’s Most Western Town.” Rustic storefronts and wooden sidewalks line the street. Mexican imports and high-quality jewelry are showcased alongside kitschy souvenirs.
A half-hour drive from Scottsdale sits a National Historic Landmark composed of 600 acres in the Sonoran Desert at the foothills of the McDowell Mountains. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright chose this spot as his permanent winter residence called Taliesin West. Wright and his apprentices build a desert camp and incorporated organic architecture to integrate buildings into their natural surroundings.
Today, Taliesin West is a bustling community of architects and students, and it includes two theaters, living quarters, a drafting studio, a music pavilion and the Sun Trap, which features sleeping spaces that surround an open patio and a fireplace.
Guided tours are offered, from a one-hour excursion to a three-hour behind-the-scenes tour.
For more information about activities, sites, restaurants, hotels and night life in Scottsdale, visit www.experiencescottsdale.com
San Francisco Giants Spring Training Information
First Practice Dates
February 12 – Pitchers and catchers
February 15 – Position players
7408 East Osborn Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
For tickets and to see a Giants spring training schedule, visit here.
2013 Ticket Prices
The Giants have a sliding ticket price structure based that varies depending on the game. Visit the website listed above for details.