The Giants offense isn’t as bad as everyone thinks, but it could be better.
The G-men have scored 196 runs, which is right at the National League average. They are sporting a healthy .260 team average, which is fourth in the NL. They have an NL-leading 18 triples.
Things could be even better if the Giants were getting any production out of Brandon Belt, who is batting just .228 with zero home runs and 29 strikeouts in 92 at-bats this season. Of the four players that have worn a first base mitt this season for the Giants, Belt is the only one that doesn’t have a home run. Even Aubrey Huff has hit a big fly while playing first base.
The Baby Giraffe has looked lost at the plate this season, prompting Bruce Bochy to bench the 24-year-old for extended periods. Belt won the first base job out of spring training, but has started just 24 of the Giants 48 games. He’s come off the bench in another 14 games.
As CSN Bay Area’s Andrew Baggarly reports, Bochy pulled Belt aside late last week to work on his mechanics in the batter’s box. Bochy wants Belt to stand taller in the box and open his stance in an effort to hit the inside pitches. Baggarly reports that Belt resisted these changes during spring training.
Maybe that’s another reason why Bochy doesn’t seem to like playing Belt that much.
Belt opened up to Baggarly on Friday:
“The biggest thing is getting myself in a hole and not putting balls in play that should be in play. That’s an approach type of thing. It’s a mental type of thing. At the same time, there might be a need for a mechanical adjustment.”
Bochy told Baggarly that he’s happy with what he’s seen so far:
“I like where he’s at right now. We talked about a lot of things, hitting approach. … Sometimes you make adjustments and that’s what he’s done. And he likes it. He likes where he’s at, too, and that’s probably more important.”
The first step to addressing a problem is admitting that there is a problem. Maybe now Belt will start contributing to the Giants cause. They desperately need some production from first base.
If these adjustments don’t pay off over the course of this season, the Giants have to move on from Belt. He needs to show improvement, show that he can be a major league hitter. In my eyes, he has four months to save his job.