There Are Known Knowns 

Felipe Alou let loose some info at yesterday's baseball luncheon that clarifies the Giants' roster makeup. First, Alou told reporters that the lineup will almost certainly be

2b Durham
ss Vizquel
1b Snow/Feliz
lf Bonds
rf Alou
3b Alfonzo
cf Grissom
c Matheny

The pros of such a lineup:

* Even when he doesn't hit for a high average or slugging percentage (which since 2001 has been most of the time) Snow gets on base a lot. Doing so in front of Barry is an excellent idea. Snow also grounds into relatively few double plays (1 every 65 plate appearances from '01-'04). That means even if he makes an out with men on base, there's a good chance Barry will come to bat -- and be intentionally walked, which is why it's heartening, if you believe in such things, that Moises Alou is a very good hitter with runners on base (.301/.378/.505 the past three years).

* With Bonds on deck, pitchers might be less inclined to throw breaking balls to Feliz.

* Hackers like Grissom should bat low in the order. If Grissom walks, it's unlikely Matheny and/or the pitcher will drive him in, anyway. (It's also a good spot for Feliz; too bad both Feliz and Grip can't bat seventh.)

The cons of such a lineup:

* Omar Vizquel will be tempted, or ordered, to bunt whenever Durham reaches first base. (Actually, when Vizquel bats right-handed, this is not such a bad thing.)

* For what it's worth, the past three years Moises Alou has had a .916 OPS in 904 ABs in the 4th position. In the same period, his OPS as a #3 hitter is .768, and as a #5 hitter, .735.

* Mike Matheny.

* Four right handed bats at the bottom of the order.

Alou also said that Jesse Foppert will be the long man and Jason Ellison is likely to be the 5th outfielder. That would give the Giants a 7-man bullpen (Benitez, Herges, Brower, Christiansen, Eyre, T. Walker, and Foppert) and a glaring lack of left-handed bats on the bench. If the starters show an ability to go deeper into games than last year, look for the Giants to shorten the bullpen and add more bench strength.


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