Every team's got 'em. Even World Champs have guys on the bench you'd rather not see out there. This post-season the Giants filled out their 25-man roster with three players who were really only placeholders. We'll start with Xavier Nady, former Cal star and late-season pickup. The X-Man has had a long career (11 years) and been reasonably productive over his 3199 plate appearances. B-R rates his career line (.270/.324/.432) at a 100 OPS+. The Salinas native has been mostly a platoon player these last few years and is likely, at 34, near the end. Nady played in four of the LDS games and went 0-6 with a walk and three strikeouts. He was on the field (in left) at the end of Games One, Two, Three, and Five. He had four putouts in his short stints, including two in the critical final innings of Game Three. I'm still amazed that the Giants won that game, and they closed it out with X in left instead of Gregor Blanco and Joaquin Arias at short instead of Brandon Crawford. They used five pitchers in that game and 12 position players (everyone except Hector Sanchez). The Reds used Xavier Paul as a pinch-hitter, and that might be the only time in MLB history with two Xaviers in one game! Like I said, I'm still amazed the Giants won that game. One has to wonder why Dusty Baker yanked Homer Bailey after seven innings (88 pitches, 1 hit, 10 K). Seems like that sort of thing happens with ol' Johnnie B in command. Makes you appreciate Bruce Bochy, who has a knack for pulling the right strings.
Next up is Aubrey Huff, 2010 hero. The Giants brought him back after his huge contributions to their first championship but he never regained his form. Like Nady, Huff is at that point in his career where it may not be worth continuing. Two rings in three years is not a bad way to go out, eh? Aubrey was strictly a pinch-hitter in the 2012 playoffs, making ten plate appearances and getting one hit, one walk, and striking out twice. His hit in Game Two of the LCS was a pop fly behind third base that Blanco would have caught but Matt Holliday could not get to. He scored on a hit by Ryan Theriot. I thought Bochy might use him at DH in Detroit, but Sanchez got the call in Game Three of the Series (0-3, 3K) and, of course, The Riot was the man in Game Four.
The last man is one of my favorites, Guillermo Mota, he of the Easter Island face. I love watching him pitch! WillyMo got in big trouble for PEDs after being a valuable mop-up man for the Giants since they acquired him in 2010. He turns 40 in July and has pitched in the big leagues (743 games, always in relief) since he was 25. He made three appearances in 2012, Games One and Two in the LDS and Game Four of the LCS. He was ineffective, yielding five runs and four hits in his 1-2/3 IP. It was a far cry from his 2-1/3 innings of shutout ball in the 2010 Series against Texas. I suppose it is the end of the line for the big Dominican, but he can go out, like the rest of the scrubs, with a shiny ring on his finger.
That's it! I've covered all 25 guys. Hope you enjoyed the look back at our team. Great news about Buster Posey getting the MVP. And I think signing Jeremy Affeldt for three years was a smart move. He's a valuable guy and the Giants know it. I will be sporting my brand new 2012 World Series Champions cap and T-shirt today at work. I get to look forward to a week off (after today) for Thanksgiving, which is my favorite holiday. Lots of much-needed relaxing and basking in the glow of our favorite team's great season.