Originally posted on 22gigantes  |  Last updated 3/9/12

It’s been a long, strange trip. And now, everything is right in the world again as the San Francisco Giants welcome back two key members of their suddenly-explosive lineup in a Cactus League game against a Cincinnati Reds’ split squad.

Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez make their triumphant debuts today; Posey in his familiar spot behind the plate and batting cleanup, and Freddy in the two-hole. Sanchez is still not quite ready to play second base, so manager Bruce Bochy has inserted him as the designated hitter.

It won’t be a walk in the park for any of the Giants hitters today, though, since they’re facing one of the toughest pitchers in baseball in Aroldis Chapman. (First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 p.m., Pacific time).

But just seeing Freddy and Buster back in the lineup brings chills and smiles to Giants fans who have been longing for this day ever since Posey went down for good after last May’s devastating collision at the plate with Scott Cousins. Sanchez’s season ended after he dislocated his shoulder diving fro a grounder in a game last June.

And now, they’re back!

Posey will catch Giants starter Matt Cain, who makes his second start of the Cactus League season.

The game will not be televised or heard on local radio, but MLB.com Will Carry it.

Today’s starting lineups…

San Francisco (4-2-1):
1. Cabrera (lf)
2. F. Sanchez (DH)
3. Sandoval (3b)
4. Posey (c)
5. Pill (1b)
6. Huff (lf)
7. Schierholtz (rf)
8. Arias (2b)
9. Crawford (ss)

Cincinnati (3-2):
1. Phillips (2b)
2. Cozart (ss)
3. Ludwick (lf)
4. Francisco (3b)
5. Hesiey (rf)
6. Cairo (DH)
7. Frazier (1b)
8. Mesoraco (c)
9. Phipps (cf)



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