Oh what a difference a year can make.
About this time last year, the San Francisco Giants were arriving in Arizona as hunters, seeking to reclaim the title seemingly taken from them in 2011 by a slew of significant injuries.
This year, having collected their second World Series championship in three seasons, the Giants arrive for spring training as the hunted, looking to defend their title and make it three trophies in four seasons.
And why not? All the pieces are still in place. Only four of the 25 players on San Francisco's World Series roster last season are no longer under contract -- Guillermo Mota, Ryan Theriot, Aubrey Huff and Xavier Nady.
The returning cast obviously starts with catcher and reigning NL MVP Buster Posey, who returned last season from a spiral fracture in his foot that cost him most of 2011. Posey split time between catcher and first base but clearly hadn't lost anything at the plate, as he led the National League with a .336 batting average and had an OPS...