SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants have put a focus this spring on getting Brandon Crawford ready for the World Baseball Classic, which meant a slight surprise for the first lineup of the new year. Crawford is hitting leadoff in Friday's exhibition opener so he can potentially get extra at-bats. Crawford and Buster Posey will leave camp in early March to represent the United States in the WBC.
Manager Bruce Bochy went heavy on the regulars in the exhibition opener. Crawford is one of six likely opening day starters to play right away:
Madison Bumgarner is scheduled to pitch an inning Friday against the visiting Reds, followed by Clayton Blackburn, Steven Okert, Derek Law, Cory Gearrin and others. The opener is meaningful to a couple of players fighting for spots. Michael Morse, the DH, is trying to make the team as a left fielder/first baseman. Jarrett Parker is trying to beat out Morse, Mac Williamson and others for the starting spot in left.
The Giants are facing a Reds team full of prospects, including the starter, right-hander Rookie Davis, who was acquired in the Aroldis Chapman deal. Former Giant Adam Duvall is hitting fourth for Cincinnati.