The defending Cactus League Champions... oh yeah... almost forgot. The defending World Series Champions San Francisco Giants will begin their quest to repeat Friday afternoon (3:05 p.m.) against the Arizona Diamondbacks in a Spring Training game in Scottsdale, AZ. The National League West rivals are the only official Spring Training contest for Friday -- the Pittsburgh Pirates play the State College of Florida in Bradenton, FL (12:05 p.m.), while the Detroit Tigers host Florida Southern College in Lakeland, FL (1:05 p.m.).
More on the Giants and Diamondbacks after the jump...Two-time NL Cy Yong winner Tim Lincecum will start for the Giants, which already named the three-time All Star its Opening Day hurler. Sophomore pitcher Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco's projected No. 5 starter (which is really scary), is schedule to follow Lincecum. Others projected to toss for the Giants are: Javier Lopez, Steve Edlefsen and Casey Daigle. In the field San Francisco will showcase: sophomore catching stud Buster Posey, newly acquired shortstop Miguel Tejada, third baseman Pablo Sandoval and outfielders Pat Burrell and Cody Ross.
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Lefty Joe Saunders will start for the Diamondbacks and pitch two innings. Manager Kirk Gibson, who will begin his first full season as skipper, is also expected to throw Wade Miley, David Hernandez, Kam Mickolio, Esmerling Vasquez, Carlos Rosa and Rafael Rodriguez. According to MLB.com's Steve Gilbert, Gibson has yet to set a batting lineup. This is no surprise considering the D-backs have a lot of position battles taking place.
"It's not going to mean anything, I can tell you that right now," Gibson said about his lineup for Friday. "I really don't know how my lineup will evolve. There's probably not going to be too much magic in any of it. I'll probably just put a lineup up there, I want guys to get at-bats and see how they do in different situations."
Saturday will feature four Grapefruit League and three Cactus League contests.