- Dan Szymborski, ESPN Insider
If you want to see some pure, head-scratching decisions, spring training is always an excellent place to catch a glimpse at some doozies. Spring is always a time for optimism and a popular subject for poetry, some of which is excellent, some absolutely atrocious, but the spirit of positive thinking results in pretty strange moves. Spring is a time when you think Scott Pose is a leadoff hitter (Marlins, 1993) and Gary Scott can make the jump to the majors after a month above Class A (Cubs, 1991). Or you might think Brandon Watson should take Ryan Church's job (Nationals, 2006). And if March's good vibrations have been especially hallucinogenic, you might decide Chad Billingsley isn't one of your five best starters, not once (Dodgers, 2007), but twice (Dodgers, 2008).
Like every other year, 2012 has seen its share of counter-productive decisions, many of which would have sounded absurd six weeks ago. Let's take a look at this year's worst roster decisions.
The Giants dodged the worst of their possible bad decisions, sending Joaquin Arias (who put up a .232 BA/.273 OBP/.353 SLG line last year in Triple-A) down to Fresno to start the season and keeping first baseman Brandon Belt. They still managed to make some bad choices, though. While keeping Belt on the team is a good idea, the apparent decision to platoon him with Brett Pill is not. Belt is the better hitter and hasn't shown any particular problem hitting lefties, hitting .348/.412/.522 against them in limited time in the majors and .291/.389/.509 against them the previous two years in the minors. And even if he did have a problem, he's not going to learn to hit southpaws by watching Pill hit against them. All this seems to be part of an effort to keep Aubrey Huff in the lineup, even though he's been an above-average major league hitter just once since 2008. The Giants need to let Belt play, not try to run a fantasy camp for Huff.
Dan Szymborski looks at the worst Opening Day roster decisions.