Relief staff is final piece of Giants' roster puzzle

Relief staff is final piece of Giants' roster puzzle

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants' 25-man Opening Day roster was finalized after Saturday's 6-3 Bay Bridge Series finale victory over the A's.

The last decision to determine the composition of manager Bruce Bochy's squad that will open the 2017 season at Arizona revolved around the bullpen, where Ty Blach becomes the lone left-handed reliever.

Here, following up on the two previous attempts to predict the group of Giants that will break camp, is a look at the players who will comprise the 25-man active roster.

Catcher: Buster Posey, Nick Hundley
Changes from previous roster predictions: None
Comment: The Giants probably didn't expect Tim Federowicz (.323 entering Saturday) to hit as well as he did. Other teams needing a Major League backup catcher should consider him. "I wish I had a spot for him," Bochy said.

Infield: First baseman Brandon Belt, second baseman Joe Panik, shortstop Brandon Crawford, third baseman Eduardo Nunez.
Changes: None

Outfield: Jarrett Parker, Hunter Pence, Denard Span, Chris Marrero, Gorkys Hernandez.
Changes: Marrero for Michael Morse (hamstring).
Comment: Marrero started hitting on the first day of Spring Training and hasn't stopped. He also has succeeded in challenging situations -- challenging by exhibition-game standards, that is. It's fair to say that defense isn't Marrero's strength. That makes Hernandez doubly essential, since he'll likely replace Marrero for defensive purposes late in ballgames.

Gorkys' RBI double

Utility: Aaron Hill, Conor Gillaspie
Changes: Hill for Kelby Tomlinson.
Comment: Hill's considerable experience gave him an edge over Tomlinson.

Starting pitchers: Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Matt Moore, Jeff Samardzija, Matt Cain
Changes: From Cain to Blach to Cain
Comment: Based strictly on Spring Training performance, Blach (4.22 ERA) outperformed Cain (7.82 ERA). But Bochy saw enough encouraging signs from the right-hander to assign him the role.

Relief pitchers: Blach, Mark Melancon, Hunter Strickland, George Kontos, Derek Law, Cory Gearrin, Neil Ramirez.
Changes: Ramirez for Josh Osich or Steven Okert.
Comment: Osich endured inconsistency for much of the spring, while Okert yielded one run in 10 2/3 innings spanning 11 appearances. But the Giants opted to keep right-hander Ramirez instead, leaving Blach as the lone southpaw in the bullpen.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.