With Brandon Webb still making his way back from right shoulder surgery, it puts even more emphasis on the acquisition of right-hander Edwin Jackson from Detroit as part of a three-way trade that included the New York Yankees.
Jackson, who already had been announced as the No. 2 starter behind right-hander Dan Haren, looked solid in his return to the National League on Saturday, giving up two hits and striking out a batter in two scoreless innings against San Francisco.
The Giants used a nine-run fifth and went on to a 12-6 victory at Scottsdale Stadium over Arizona. Outfielder John Bowker provided the big hit with a three-run home run.
Jackson, who recently signed a two-year, $13.5 million deal, said he felt pretty good for his first start.
"I was around the plate for the most part," said Jackson, who was 13-9 in his only season with Detroit after three seasons with Tampa Bay and three with the Los Angeles Dodgers. "I used my slider and change-up, my full arsenal. ... I wanted to see how it is."
As for pitching well in front of his new team, Jackson said, "I'm not trying to impress anybody right now. I'm trying to get my work in and get ready for the season.
"They (opponents) are still trying to figure me out and I'm trying to figure them out. It's a game of cat and mouse."
On the Giants side, manager Bruce Bochy was pleased with the first spring effort by his starter, left-hander Jonathan Sanchez.
After a season in which he threw a no-hitter against San Diego on July 10, Sanchez pitched two shutout innings, giving up three hits, three walks and striking out three.
"He threw well," Bochy said. "When he missed the strike zone, he was close. He was inconsistent with some of his secondary pitches, but it was still a good outing."
Bowker's home run in the fifth, and a two-run shot by shortstop prospect Brandon Crawford in the eighth, were an indication of some of the Giants' young talent.
"Our young players are carrying themselves well. They are comfortable and confident," Bochy said.
Arizona center fielder Chris Young did not have a good comfort level in 2009. He hit just .212 and was sent to Triple-A Reno for 13 games.
He was the bright spot for the Diamondbacks on Saturday with three hits: a bunt single, a two-run double and a solo home run.
"It feels good to get that first hit. My focus is to get good at-bats," Young said. "The bunt .... I'm trying to use my speed more, use everything — power, speed and play good defense."
EXTRA BASES: Giants infielder Emmanuel Burriss will be out at least four weeks after breaking the same bone in his left foot earlier this week that he did a year ago, when he was limited to 61 games.
A few injuries and the split-squad games forced Bochy to use a couple of pitchers as pinch-hitters against Arizona and had young catcher Buster Posey playing first base for the first time.
Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum is scheduled for his second start on Sunday against Kansas City in Surprise, Ariz.
Right-hander Ian Kennedy, acquired by Arizona from the Yankees in the three-team deal, will make his first start against Colorado.