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03/17/08 8:46 PM ET

Giants set tentative rotation order

Zito, Cain, Lincecum, Correia, Sanchez lined up for season

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Although anybody following the series of the Giants' starting pitchers in Cactus League exhibitions could guess the sequence of the team's rotation, pitching coach Dave Righetti erased doubts Monday by confirming the alignment.

Barry Zito, Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Kevin Correia and Jonathan Sanchez will compose the rotation, in that pattern.

"If they all come out of [Spring Training] healthy, it'll probably be ordered the way it is right now," Righetti said.

Righetti added that if any changes are made to the rotation before Zito pitches the March 31 season opener at Los Angeles, it would probably involve Correia and Sanchez switching places. This would break up the sequence of three consecutive right-handers (Cain, Lincecum and Correia) while also separating left-handers Sanchez and Zito from each other, although the difference in their pitching styles presents sufficient variety to opponents.

Cain is on schedule to start the April 7 home opener against San Diego.

The Giants will face another decision regarding their rotation when left-hander Noah Lowry makes his expected return from left forearm surgery in late April. Righetti said that he'd like to insert Lowry between Cain and Lincecum, giving the Giants' front four an alternating left-right-left-right look.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.