It’s a battle of the two hottest teams in the desert today as the San Francisco Giants (6-3-1) send left-hander Eric Surkamp to the hill to face Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners (7-2) at Scottsdale Stadium.
Surkamp, 24, will make his first spring start. He has made two relief appearances so far, allowing four runs on six hits and two walks in 4.1 innings. The 2011 Double-A All-Star will likely start the season at Fresno (AAA).
Hernandez, who won the AL Cy Young Award in 2010, will make his second Cactus League start. He looked very sharp in his debut against the Reds last Tuesday, tossing three hitless innings while striking out four.
Perhaps the bigger story of this game is the debut of San Francisco closer Brian Wilson, who was troubled by elbow problems late last year. The Giants medical staff has been easing B-Weez back into shape this spring and the bearded one is finally ready to take the mound against live hitters (as opposed to dead ones…rim shot). He’ll throw about 25 pitches.
Buster Posey is also expected to return to the lineup today and play about four innings.
The game, which can be heard on KNBR 680, starts at 1:05 p.m. (PT).
Today’s starting lineups…
San Francisco (6-3-1):
1. Pagan (cf)
2. Cabrera (lf)
3. Sandoval (3b)
4. Posey (c)
5. Huff (DH)
6. Belt (1b)
7. Theriot (ss)
8. Blanco (rf)
9. Burriss (2b)
Starting pitcher: Surkamp (0-1, 8.31)
Pre-game notes: Besides Wilson, also scheduled to pitch today for the Giants are Clay Hensley, Jeremy Affeldt, and Daniel Otero … The Giants are Mariners split their two Cactus League meetings last year … In the “Who are these guys and what did they do with my Giants?” category, San Francisco leads all major league teams this spring with a .325 batting average. They’re 3rd with a .396 on-base percentage, 2nd in slugging (.541), 1st in OPS (.918), 2nd in runs scored (66), 1st in total hits (114), 1st in doubles (29), 3rd in triples (4), 2nd in home runs (13), 8th in walks (29), and 5th in stolen bases (11) … The Giants have 66 players on their Cactus League roster (39 roster players, 27 non-roster invitees). Here’s the breakdown of the spring roster: 33 pitchers (16 non-roster invitees), 7 catchers (3 non-roster invitees), 16 infielders (4 non-roster invitees) and 10 outfielders (4 non-roster invitees).
Innings by position: Below are the number of innings that each player has logged at his position(s), through the Giants’ first 10 Cactus League games.
C — Stewart (23), Whiteside (22), H. Sanchez (15), J. Williams (10), Susac (8), Joseph (6), Posey (2)
1B — Pill (34), Belt (21), Huff (16), Dominguez (10), Oropesa (3), Anders (3)
2B — Burriss (19), Theriot (18), Fontenot (15), Panik (14), Noonan (12), Arias (9)
3B — Gillaspie (40), Sandoval (32), Dominguez (12), Noonan (3)
SS — Crawford (33), Arias (23), Adrianza (12), Theriot (11), Burriss (4), Panik (4)
LF — Christian (24), Cabrera (21), Graham (8), Perez (8), Belt (6), Burriss (5), Huff (5), Parker (5), Pill (5)
CF — Pagan (28), Brown (23), Blanco (14), Graham (12), Cabrera (10)
RF — Schierholtz (27), Blanco (14), Kieschnick (14), Perez (10), Belt (10), Graham (9), Parker (3)
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