Duvall is never going to be a big star and probably will never hold down a full time job in the big leagues, but he has brought needed power to a Giants bench that includes Joaquin Arias, Joe Panik and Ehire Adrianza who have combined for zero home runs in 286 plate appearances and Hector Sanchez who has three home runs in 168 plate appearances. Duvall is, like all those other players, a role player but he plays a different role. Duvall cannot catch or play the middle infield. He plays an adequate first base, but his real position is hitter.
Keeping Huff on the roster, and in the starting lineup, on the hope that he has another good season left would be a mistake if all it did was block Brandon Belt from getting a chance to prove himself in 2012, but putting Huff at first base will have a negative impact on two other young Giants. Brett Pill is old for a prospect, but because of his power from the right side and ability to play both first and second base, could be an intriguing and useful player if utilized properly. Additionally, although the Giants hope that Buster Posey will be fully recovered from his injury, he will probably not be able to catch every game and also has played first base in the past. If Posey could play first more, Hector Sanchez, a top Giants catching prospect could fill in behind the plate. If, however, Huff is the full time first baseman, Belt, Pill and Sanchez or Posey will lose playing time. If Huff hits like he did in 2008 or 2010 that will be ok, but it is unlikely that he will.