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How Many Does Brandon Have to Belt to Make the Opening Day Roster?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 5, 2011

Let me start by saying, I LOVE Brandon Belt. It’s an exciting story. A 5th round 2009 pick and he’s almost ready for The Show? It’s not too often that your college batting average/OPS is worse than your pro batting average/OPS. Someone has gotten a hold of Belt and taken him to the next level. And if you’ve ever heard this kid interviewed, he is a rock solid person who has learned how to handle the media at a very young age. He still lives in the small Texas town he grew up in……..

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Of course it’s nice to see him raking right now. He hit a home run off Tim Dillard yesterday. Yes, THAT Tim Dillard– 34th rd draft pick from 2002. Is it a BAD thing to abuse a career minor league pitcher? Of course not. But the Tim Dillard’s of the world are the type of pitchers I want him hitting against right now. He’s had a meteoric rise through the organization, he needs all the confidence boosts he can get…..
But I don’t see any reason to give him a reality check at this point in his young career. Facing Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee back to back is just a little different than facing Tim Dillard and Tim Dillard back to back. And here’s the kicker: We don’t need Belt right now. He’s not critical. We just won the goddamn World Series. Teams like the Oakland A’s need to take stabs at guys like Belt on Opening Day……
Let this guy rake away in Spring Training and then start the year in Fresno. He can go down there with a ton of confidence and just keep adding to it for a couple of months. Meanwhile, our team will shake itself out this Spring and into the early Summer. I am 74.7% certain we will need his services come June. It’ll just work out that way.
But handing him the starting 1-bag job just because he abuses the Tim Dillard’s of Spring Training is an unnecessary risk we don’t need to take—we have our position players covered. Let Belt arrive in a timely manner……..

68 Responses

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  1. DJLoo said, on March 5, 2011 at 6:19 am

    That is a lucid, intelligent, well thought-out analysis.

    • TedSpe said, on March 5, 2011 at 7:41 am

      Over ruled

    • xootsuit said, on March 5, 2011 at 9:50 am

      “It’ll just work out that way” really nailed it. I agree with that conclusion, though.

  2. Flavor said, on March 5, 2011 at 6:42 am

    uh oh…….

  3. stixwiz said, on March 5, 2011 at 7:20 am

    My expectation is that unless Belt hits something like .350 with a .400 OBP and a .600 SP this spring, he will be riding the Fresno bus. But not for long. One minor league seasoning at three levels and he’s knocking at the door. Hard. Unusual for a first baseman he can both run and throw with the best of em. Five tool player. Perhaps the Giants first since Bobby Bonds came up. Wow!

    The embarrassment of riches goes on. And on. Zito threw a reasonably decent three innings against the LaBumbos last night. The 25-man relievers were tits once again. Thomas Neal made some noise with his first dinger of the season. By the end of the season he could be dominating AAA pitching. Though slow to catch on to the nasties in the Eastern League last year, he came around quite nicely towards the latter months. He should be a contributor in The Show next year.

    And Posey! Blast #2 in eight ST games. Though he’ll have to beat out Joey Votto, Albert Pujols and unnamed others; i’m seeing Buster copping the MVP crown this go-round. Masterful behind the plate, both defensively and in calling games, Posey is commanding in the most demanding position on the field. Oh, and need we mention that bat. Power, not only in pulling the ball, but also to dead center and to the opposite field. But he’s far from some hacking slugger. This guy can handle the stick, get inside the pitch and slap it all over the field, as needed. It would not surprise me a bit to see him hit in the .330-.340 range, with 30 long flies and 100+ RBI’s ~good enough to cop that crown.

    • xootsuit said, on March 5, 2011 at 9:57 am

      I saw a bunch of comments on various sites mocking Zito’s HBP yesterday (part of a bases loaded jam he worked into). Then it turned out it was a retaliation pitch. Lotta bad thoughts out there for Zito now. He’ll be into Armando territory real quick if he doesn’t get off to a decent start (assuming he’s still on the team in April). Question: What impact do you all think the WS triumph will have on crowd character? Will we see even more interference calls down the OF lines? Will hecklers flock to the home BP to scream incentivizing epithets at Zito?

  4. TedSpe said, on March 5, 2011 at 7:43 am

    My previous post was merely to follow up on Loo’s reference. I voted Fresno. And before I forget….

  5. TedSpe said, on March 5, 2011 at 7:44 am

    I know what you’re thinking.
    What’s the 3rd b?

  6. DJLoo said, on March 5, 2011 at 7:56 am

    I believe the BB of the day is the famous Spanish model Cucumis Inodorus.

    • TedSpe said, on March 5, 2011 at 7:59 am

      Cucumis Inodorus? Spanish? I think not

  7. DJLoo said, on March 5, 2011 at 8:04 am

    I hope Stix is right. The SF Giants have never had a dominating catcher or SS in their history. The occasional fluky breakout year from a Dietz or Aurilia, and a few solid, steady types, but never a perennial all star or the #1 guy in the game. Buster can be that guy, so why not take the next step and get a big time shortstop like Hanley or Reyes in the next year or two?

    • Rough Trade said, on March 5, 2011 at 8:47 am

      Shouldn’t need Hanley and won’t be able to afford him??

  8. twinfan said, on March 5, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Flavor is simply overreacting to the excitement over Guzman and Bowker, most notably. Excitement he shared, BTW. I don’t have a problem if the decision is to start him in Fresno, but if they think he’s ready to start everyday, he’ll be here-as it should be. Buster was held back because of concerns about his defense- Belt is considered an accomplished fielder- better than Huff. A LF/1B triumvirate of Huff, Derosa or Burrell ( yes, his job is in jeopardy), and Belt improves the team and that’s what it’s about…
    Side note-everybody is hitting against the Dillards…

  9. Giant Head said, on March 5, 2011 at 8:17 am

    Could not agree more Flav…the only thing that can wrong right now in his career is to make the everyday starter and he strtuggles. Then you just fucked him and forced to send him back down.

    He comes up in June, there are no expectations for him to be the man and if even struggles, I think it is less pressure mentally on him.

    This is not Will Clark when the team was basically a pile of crap and ready for rookies. But imagining a Posey-Belt one-two punch for the next 10 us years with Beardy Wilson and Timmy and Matty and Lefty and the Bum. This may be the start of the golden age in Giants history…

    • xootsuit said, on March 5, 2011 at 11:47 am

      “Basically a pile of crap and ready for rookies”
      yikes. I mean, I know they lost 100 in 1985, but Brenly, Uribe, One Flap Down, Chili Davis, Krukow, et al stayed on for 86. The rookies, and the addition of Roger Craig, clearly were necessary, however. So, yeah, the situation today couldn’t be more opposite. Also, it’s not likely that his first AB in LA would be as interesting a match up as Will C’s was.

  10. twinfan said, on March 5, 2011 at 8:32 am

    The pressure is no different whether he’s up in June or April, if anything MORE as a June recall. Utter nonsense. And players need more than one try all the time, the notion that poor little Brandon woud be ruined if he struggled is more nonsense.( I think Matt Williams needed three shots).Again, it’s simple: if he’s thought to be ready, he stays.

  11. big flavor said, on March 5, 2011 at 8:38 am

    I don’t know why you keep saying Burrell is on the bubble. They’e got him on an unreal deal. It would be idiotic to release him and they won’t…..

  12. big flavor said, on March 5, 2011 at 8:47 am

    If they decided to keep Belt it would be Ishikawa who would go. No one else would even get considered.

  13. twinfan said, on March 5, 2011 at 8:48 am

    So Flavor’s position is that you can’t release a guy who makes a lot of money and you can’t release a guy who makes little. Anyay, while he may not be released yet, any starts are in jeopardy, as DeRosa is the better player. If he does stick, spot starts and PH duty may be the extent of his action. They got the best there is to get from the Bat last year.

    • DJLoo said, on March 5, 2011 at 8:57 am

      I believe Big MegaFlavor Giggety said the other day that he’d like the Giants to buy out Zito due to excessive pole-smoking. Is that the same as releasing him?

  14. DJLoo said, on March 5, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Can Belt play the OF or not? That’s where they need him.
    Is there any talk of Posey playing 1B on occasion?

  15. twinfan said, on March 5, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Burrell might go irrespective of Belt’s status. I’d say either he or Rowand HAS to go.

  16. twinfan said, on March 5, 2011 at 8:56 am

    Belt has played 14 games in the OF. But I don’t think there are plans for him there. That would weaken two positions defensively..

  17. Del Mar Dennis said, on March 5, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Too bad Bochy isn’t trotting this one out when we play the A’s in July. I’d have a fucking field day.

    Giants at A’s today: CF Rowand, 2B Sanchez, SS Tejada, LF Burrell, 3B DeRosa, 1B Belt, RF Schierholtz, DH Whiteside, C Stewart, P Bumgarner

  18. big flavor said, on March 5, 2011 at 9:02 am

    I’m sorry, but Pat Burrell at a million bucks is a fantastic deal for the production you’ll likely get from him. He had a bad WS, big deal. All that did was re-affirm the obvious, he hated American League pitching. He could EASILY hit 20-25 HR’s this year with regular playing time. What idiot GM wouldn’t take that for only a million dollars? Plus they love the guy, he’s not going anywhere…..

  19. DJLoo said, on March 5, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Coincidently, I live near the Belt Parkway. Once made it to Aqueduct from the Brooklyn side of the Verrazano Bridge in 11 minutes.

  20. big flavor said, on March 5, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Loo, you’ve only got 27 more days to go, you gonna make it to Opening Day this year? I think you’ve missed the last couple……

    • DJLoo said, on March 5, 2011 at 9:29 am

      Sure hope so.
      Opening day as defending World Champions?
      Sometimes I still don’t believe it.

  21. twinfan said, on March 5, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Look, I jumped all over the Burrell signing, Flavor got on board reluctantly. He’s making a BFD of the milion but it was as much as they were willing to pay him- THAT should tell you something. He needs to step it up against those Dillard dudes..

  22. big flavor said, on March 5, 2011 at 9:23 am

    no, he actually doesn’t. He’s a vet who’s earned the right to do ST however he wants to. Bochy could care less about what PBurrell does this month. The Bat absolutely proved himself last year, the brass trusts him, and barring an injury, he’s going to play a lot for us this year.

  23. snarkk said, on March 5, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Whatever and whenever with Belt, Ishi is gone by trade deadline, if not sooner. A defensive 1st sacker is a luxury, too many guys that can handle 1b, and the LH, weaker bat is redundant with Belt in the fold…

    • DJLoo said, on March 5, 2011 at 9:33 am

      He became a darn good PH, too. Does that help his chances?
      If Huff hit the DL for 6 weeks on opening day, what would be the move?

    • snarkk said, on March 5, 2011 at 9:37 am

      Not saying he’s gone in ST. Of course they need to see if there are injuries during ST. But, he’s out of options, so he either has to stay with the club, or he’s outta here. He’s one reason I think Belt stays in Fresno, and let things play out as the first half goes along. But if Belt comes up at any time, Ishi has to go. It’s a numbers game. They’ve got a handful of guys that can first, including DeRosa…

  24. snarkk said, on March 5, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Rohand so far making a good case to trade his permanent sad sack game to anybody, anywhere, for anything, and take back a bunch of salary as needed. Unless he turns it around pronto, I can’t see this guy taking up a roster spot with a bunch of younger players ready to contribute more at other positions. Would his contributions on the field and in the batters box be missed for more than about a microsecond? No. As for clubhouse leadership, they would miss him for a day, they’ve got plenty to spare…

  25. twinfan said, on March 5, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Snarkker has had Ishi gone even before he got here. And he MIGHT be this time. It’s interesting though, that they’re now using him in LF. Without him the LH bench is Fontenot and maybe Nate- not scintillating,to say the least.

  26. twinfan said, on March 5, 2011 at 9:44 am

    One or more of DeRosa, Rowand, Burrell goes. They want to get more left handed. DeRosa is probably a lock to stay because of his versatilty, Burrell’s status depends more on Rowand than Belt…

  27. DJLoo said, on March 5, 2011 at 9:50 am

    It’ll probably come down to Flav’s favorite stat, PSQ.
    (Pole-Smoking Quotient)

  28. Rough Trade said, on March 5, 2011 at 9:59 am

    It sounds easier and perhaps wiser to send the kid to Fresno, wait and and see how things shake out.

  29. twinfan said, on March 5, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Almost all “experts” expect a down year for Huff, Bill James has him at .269 19 HR 75 RBI .801 OPS. BP almost exactly the same. Of course, no one liked him last year, either. His good year/bad year cycle is troubling, though.In any case, I think we’ll see more of him in LF than 1B…

  30. zumarust said, on March 5, 2011 at 11:21 am

    If I can think of a positive about keeping Rowand….I think a case could be made for him as a decent righthand-hitting PH late in the game. Could pop a big homerun late in a game. Has that potential. But if Burrell isn’t starting, then that’s one of HIS roles. When Belt comes up to the big club, and Huff goes to LF, I don’t see how they can justify keeping both Burrell and Rowand, from a baseball standpoint. Burrell would have to have the big edge. He’s a better player at this point in both their careers, AND he’s the big positive clubhouse presence that they were hoping Rowand would be when they signed him. Rowand can’t be much of leader anymore with his performance with the bat.
    Burrell is bigger factor in the team chemistry than Rowand, and the Giants have great team chemistry, and by all accounts a great clubhouse atmosphere and team unity.

  31. zumarust said, on March 5, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Belt brought up in May or so, and Rowand quietly released, would be an understandable move, IMO.

  32. twinfan said, on March 5, 2011 at 11:45 am

    “Quietly released”? Good Luck.

    • zumarust said, on March 5, 2011 at 11:49 am

      On one of the get-away days. “Uh, Aaron- Sabean needs to see you for a moment….”

  33. Rough Trade said, on March 5, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Belt at 1b does raise more questions..

    -Can Burrell be happy/effective just coming off the bench? He wasn’t either as a DH. Or was that just AL pitching?

    -They have Huff for 2 yrs. How effective will he be in the OF this yr or next?

    -What to do w/Ishi? His defense won’t be needed so much, but they do need a LH bat off the bench.

    -Move Huff to the OF, they have 6 OFer’s plus DeRosa. Someone has to go, no?

  34. Del Mar Dennis said, on March 5, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Hey, Loo. What would The Most Interesting Man in the World say about today’s Gotham at Aqueduct?

  35. xootsuit said, on March 5, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    So do I have this right — 26 votes for Fresno, 2 for OD roster. 13 to 1 shot? Worth a hundred, ain’t it?

  36. Del Mar Dennis said, on March 5, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Nice job by Bum to minimize the damage after the DeRosa error. I really like his makeup. Nothing much ever seems to faze Madison. I especially like his proclivity to throw at and/or hit a batter when warranted. He don’t take no shit.

    • stixwiz said, on March 5, 2011 at 3:17 pm

      Dennis: I didn’t give Bumgarner the nickname “The Undertaker” for nothin. But it was mostly cause he looks like one.

  37. Kevin said, on March 5, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Well I see the debate is going strong on the Belt saga. I voted he goes down to Fresno.
    So Twin what is the difference between Posey from last year going down and Belt not going down this year? The Giants have a capable first baseman, two actually unlike the catching situation last year.

  38. twinfan said, on March 5, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Posey was sent down to work on his defense, that’s not a question with Belt. Look- as I said, I have no issue with Brandon opening in Fresno if they deem he’s not ready. Like everybody else, he’s getting those durn Dillards- later he’ll get the “A” guys. Some of you might change your tune then. Or I might. We’ll see,eh?

  39. Mega Flavor said, on March 5, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Posey needed more practice as a catcher. But we needed his bat more then than we need belt’s bat now

  40. twinfan said, on March 5, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Uh-oh, Belt has the only hit off an “A”…

  41. twinfan said, on March 5, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    He’s dropped to .389, send him to San Jose…

  42. zumarust said, on March 5, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    A case could be made that the Giants almost waited too long to bring up Posey. Everything worked out cool, though.
    But there’s also something to be said for the way the Braves are doing it. They gave Heyward rightfield from day one last year. And they’re giving Freeman firstbase from day one. Is Freeman more ready than Belt? Do the Braves have a bigger need?

  43. James said, on March 5, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    If one of Burrell, Rowand, DeRosa or Ishikawa has to go to make room for Belt, it does seem likely they’ll wait a couple of months to see who’s most expendable among them based on performance. An injury could make the decision moot. I’d just as soon see Belt get the job out of spring, but would be bummed if Burrell was the one to go as a result.

  44. Flavor said, on March 5, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    I like Ishikawa, I will be bummed to see him go. Obviously, Rowand is the guy to move but that’s unlikely. For some reason, I am feeling hopeful (today) that they will be able to move Rowand before OD. And I totally agree with you James, they will let the season start and shake itself out before bringing up Belt in June. How much does getting another year of control over the guy factor into this? I don’t think much at all……

  45. Flavor said, on March 5, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    I was sad to hear Jim Byrnes (Eric’s dad) died unexpectedly a couple of days ago. He and I had adjacent cubicles for about a year in 2003-2004. Good guy–loved baseball and I don’t know if I’ve ever met a parent who was prouder of his son. Whatever you think of Eric is not important. He loved being the dad of a major leaguer…..

  46. Flavor said, on March 5, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Twin, Soph is agreeing with you at the Splash about The Bat’s roster spot being in jeopardy. Uh oh….

  47. twinfan said, on March 5, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Well, she agrees with you on Tejada, we’re both in trouble…

  48. paulinasia said, on March 5, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    One thing that made the team so entertaining last season was the collection of players that Bochy could mix and match for any given game, something he did so well, especially in the post season. The Giants definitely have versatility when it comes to who will play 1B, corner OFs, and infield. Re: Rowand, when I first read Bochy’s comments that Rowand is a CFer, period, not to be included in the corner OF discussion, it almost sounded like he was saying either that Rowand isn’t all that valuable and if he wasn’t cutting it as a CFer, he might not be around for long, or stop talking about Rowand, he’s our backup CFer. But if Rowand is in fact packaged out, who backs up Torres in CF? Ross? One of the youngsters (Ford or Neal?), who don’t seem to get much ink as possible backups? Mixing/matching in the corners will likely happen a lot; CF is a little less clear to me…

  49. Flavor said, on March 5, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Ross can definitely play CF.
    Borwn breaking his hand in Philly is the best thing to ever happen if you’re dreaming about a Rowand to Philly trade…..
    Baggs Vlog is outstanding if you haven’t checked it out— he gives you a lot more in a 7 min talk than you get in his blog…..
    Good to see you PAULinASIA.

  50. paulinasia said, on March 5, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Glad to be here, Craig. Internet problems here lately ’cause I think the gov’t is nervous about all the revolts going on. I’ve had some time to read here, but not enough time to post. My university just had a student outing at a water park. I thought about sending you some pics for your bikini babe selections, as some of my students look lovely.. but that would just be wrong……

  51. Flavor said, on March 5, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    we’re facebook friends dude, I see many of the hotties that Vietnam has to offer……

  52. paulinasia said, on March 5, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Yes you do. FaceBook was unavailable here for about a week. Finally one of my students showed me how to get around the blocking… Fortunately, the gov’t doesn’t view the Flap as a threat.

  53. twinfan said, on March 5, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Always a treat to see Paul posting, welcome back..
    I’d like to see Ford or Burriss make it but the cards are stacked against them. The 12 pitcher nonsense is a pet peeve, especially early with the off dates…

  54. xootsuit said, on March 5, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Some frivolous stuff over on the splash led me to search around this evening until I stumbled across this. Remember the night when Carlos Santana sat in the booth with Krukow and talked about what a “magical” place the park was? Krukow was blown away. I bet this guy would be right at home with both of them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhUkXfyrCe0

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