Every great athlete, every great coach and every great team wants consistency from their performance every game. That doesn't mean there has to be consistency in the lineup.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler might not go more than two or three games of trotting out the same lineup when baseball eventually returns. Kapler is a master at wanting to get the best out of his players and the nine men he puts on the field. The skipper will platoon players, no matter how many years they have in the big leagues.
General manager Scott Harris and president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi were tasked with signing players for Kapler to deploy. One of the biggest questions for the manager is how he will use a handful of outfielders.
Harris believes the Giants' roster sets up nicely for Kapler to get the best out of his guys.
"We're trying to give Gabe the ability to match up and a great example of that is left field," Harris said Thursday on KNBR's "Murph & Mac" show. "Hunter Pence and Alex Dickerson really complement each other and we can deploy them in the right situation and come to the plate with favorable matchups and hopefully see some success out of it.
"We're gonna be able to throw out some very different lineups against left-handed pitching and right-handed pitching."
Pence, a right-handed hitter crushes left-handed pitching. The four-time All-Star hit .327 with eight homers against lefties last year with the Texas Rangers. Dickerson, a left-handed hitter, knocked all six of his dingers against right-handed pitchers last year.
Kapler also will have to figure out how and when to use players like Mike Yastrzemski, Mauricio Dubon, Jaylin Davis, Austin Slater and Bill Hamilton. Davis often gets lost in the conversation after a slow start this spring and struggling after his MLB debut last season. The powerful right-handed bat hit 35 (!) long balls last season and Harris made it clear the Giants believe in him.
"We're really excited about him and think he has a really bright future," Harris said.
Kapler and the Giants have plenty of questions to be answered this season -- if a season is played -- but his lineup likely will have a different answer every few games.