For better or worse, the Giants currently are the owners of an extremely bizarre Opening Day streak for the last decade-plus. That streak should continue this season, too, after some news out of spring training on Sunday morning.
The Seattle Mariners named left-hander Marco Gonzales as their Opening Day starter for the third straight season when the Giants visit T-Mobile Park for a three-game series starting April 1.
What does this mean for the Giants? Get ready for yet another different left fielder starting for San Francisco in the Opening Day lineup.
Alex Dickerson was Gabe Kapler's starting left fielder on Opening Day last season, but that likely won't happen this year with the Giants facing a lefty in Gonzales. Kapler surely will turn to Austin Slater to fulfil the Opening Day duties. Now, here's why that's so important.
With Gonzales on the hill, the Giants should have their 14th straight different starting left fielder on Opening Day since Barry Bonds last played in 2007. That's right, the Giants have used a different starting left fielder to begin the season every single year since Bonds last wore orange and black. In that span, here are all of the Giants' Opening Day left fielders: Dave Roberts, Fred Lewis, Mark DeRosa, Pat Burrell, Aubrey Huff, Andres Torres, Michael Morse, Nori Aoki, Angel Pagan, Jarrett Parker, Hunter Pence, Connor Joe and Dickerson.
Slater crushed lefties last season and should get the bulk of at-bats in left field against southpaws. He hit .316 with four homers and had a 1.127 OPS off left-handers. Dickerson hit .273 with one homer off lefties but .300 with nine long balls and a .952 OPS when facing right-handers. Expect a starting outfield of Slater in left, Mauricio Dubon in center and Mike Yastrzemski in right.
Since the days of Bonds blasting balls into McCovey Cove, the Giants have been searching for long-term answers in left field. Their farm system is full of outfielders with high upside right now. Maybe Hunter Bishop or Heliot Ramos can be the answer as soon as next season.
For now, though, Kapler seems to have some strong options for a perfect outfield platoon. And with that, San Francisco's infamous streak should continue.