THE San Francisco Giants Blog

Where’s The Love?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 22, 2016
Paul Sorensen said, on March 21, 2016 at 8:24 pm (Edit)

I think Belt is going to have a great year. His last chance to turn around all you “trade Belt!” guys. Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking.

______________________

I mean, I wouldn’t say my feelings about him would NEVER change. Most fans don’t like every player on the team. But if he finally had a break out year, I’d get on board and readily admit I was one of the last ones to get on the Beat off to Belt Train.

My 2 main issues with Belt: his slumpy ass look when he fails and his passionate obsession with striking out at the worst possible times. The injuries don’t really bother me, a lot of them have been out of his control. I think I also don’t like that so many Flappers here defend him. I don’t know why that bothers me but it probably contributes to my dislike.

The dude always hits in Arizona when it doesn’t count. False promise of Spring eternal. Here’s a list of his batting averages in the first month of each season once they leave AZ:

2011: .192

2012: .278

2013: .235

2014: .255

2015: .235

So James can start re-wrapping the inside of his house in plastic if Belt shows up raking right now of the gate this year……..

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  1. chipower9 said, on March 22, 2016 at 8:06 am

    Choo Choo motherfuckers…get on the “Beat Off to Belt” train while there is still room! Your sorry ass does not want to be left behind!

    Beat Off to Belt Train…that almost had me snorting coffee out my nose, Flav. Good stuff.

    But seriously, if Belt had a “breakout year,” (and I am going to call a breakout anything over 20 bombs and 70-80 RBIs), I am not sure it would change my stance (shared on yesterday’s thread) that much. I had suggested 3 years 36 mil. I might bump that to 3 years and 42, or 3 and 45, but that is about it. All with a team option, of course.

    Belt has had 17 HRs and 67 RBIs one year and 18 and 68 another. So, 20 and 70/80 is not that significant of an increase over his top years. If he hit 25 and 90/100, maybe I inch closer to 20 mil per, but still not sure I would go more than 3 years with an option.

  2. unca_chuck said, on March 22, 2016 at 8:11 am

    In 2014 he started out on fire. By May 9th, he had 9 HRs with 18 RBIs when he got his thumb broken vs the Dogs.

  3. willedav said, on March 22, 2016 at 8:30 am

    My issue with Belt haters boils down to a misguided (imo) perception–a 1b has to hit 25 HRs and drive in 100, which I call BS. Nate hit 20 playing for the Cubs–he ever do that here? He’s out of baseball regardless of what he did in hitter friendly yard being platooned.
    I remember comments last year like, “my SS is doing what the 1b should be doing.” How many HRs Giants get out of LF last year or any other position? Where they come from is freaking irrelevant.

    In first place, no one on Giants entire team hits 25 HRs over a full season including the guy making the most money or the SS. If someone did, they’d deserve to be top paid hitter. But especially not a LH at ATT. Huff did it once and then cratered. Yes sure I’d like to see Belt pull the ball out of the yard more often but if he makes more contact and uses the whole field to beat shift I can live with less than 20 HRs.

    Second the Giants do NOT need HRs to score runs. Their offensive numbers were in top 5 of almost every other category including the all important one, runs scored. Runs scored, plus defense and pitching, wins games. You help the team score runs whether it is a walk double or sac fly/runner advanced, it’s a good AB.
    And yes Belt needs way more of all the above to improve and help the team win.

    Oh, and the elephant in the room: as I mentioned end of last thread, good luck finding someone to enable Posey to move to 1b full time. Right now Giants can’t even find a once a week back up.

    • willedav said, on March 22, 2016 at 8:48 am

      And remember those numbers from last year included starting the season with MacG at 3b, almost no Pence at all, Panik’s stellar season ending early, months of suckitude from the less than healthy Pagan, Susac injury, yada yada.
      Giants O should be much improved this season with Belt and his $6 mil salary as no more than one of many contributing factors IF he can keep the OPS over .800 by making more contact and pumping up slugging pct., HRs or not.

  4. Carstie Clausen said, on March 22, 2016 at 8:47 am

    Would anybody care to argue that the Giants fucked with Belt’s head a couple of years back. They wanted him to be a belter, a blaster. They tinkered with his stance and his general approach at the plate. Prior to that meddling he was a line-drive slice hitter with a great batting eye who collected plenty of walks and sported a damn nice OBP.

    So as much as i like Belt, i can understand it if he bolts when Free Agency looms. My take is that they should let him be who he is, as well as make some financial atonement. Willedav plated some runs when he reminded us that the Giants don’t particularly need to clout those dingers to rack up some tallies. They have an outstanding OBP overall and their conga-line may be the best in MLB. If Brandon is shown some appreciation by the team, he could come around to key that parade around the bases.

    Who knows? Maybe some tokens of approval will bring a bit of swagger to #9.

  5. Carstie Clausen said, on March 22, 2016 at 8:55 am

    “Accentuate their strengths and value them for what they are”. Being interviewed on Canadian Broadcasting just now, Blue Jays color commentator Buck Martinez just confirmed the statement i just made on Belt. Betcha Brandon would thrive with the current Jays. Never knew before just how astute Martinez happens to be as one of the ultimate baseball insiders.

    Martinez has a lot of respect for Bochy as a thinking man’s manager. Hopefully Bruce will heed Buck’s advice and talk to the front office about not going all hardass on Belt and on a personal level to have a nice sitdown with his first baseman and let him know that he can simply be himself in the batter’s box.

  6. dirtnrocksnomo said, on March 22, 2016 at 9:00 am

    I look at Belt as a guy that is on our club so I’ll root for him and hope that he finds success. There’s no shame in being a solid MLB player. Besides, his averageness helps with cost certainty. I’m sort of surprised that the slumpy shoulders thing bothers people so much. Baseball is a game full of failures. Everybody deals with it differently. I’m just hoping he autographs his 21st HR ball for Chi.

    • chipower9 said, on March 22, 2016 at 10:19 am

      And I would gladly accept said ball.

  7. willedav said, on March 22, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Off topic but anyone with b-ball playing daughters, check out U of Washington Kelsey Plum who’s team will be playing vs. Texas this weekend Sweet 16.
    Watched her walk into Maples and torch Stanford regardless of who guarded her. She has btw legs dribble to freeze defender for long distance 3 or stepback J, crossover to get to rim and finish draw fouls and made a critical pass to teammate for draw and dish game clinching 3 last night.
    She romped through Pac 12 and is prime focus of every team every game, and got 32 last night of team’s 75 as they dumped highly regarded Maryland. Oh she also plays the entire game as their coach hardly ever subs at all.

  8. zumiee said, on March 22, 2016 at 9:14 am

    The slumping shoulders is usually tied into taking a close pitch for strike three. In Belt’s mind, the pitch was a little off the plate, and often the replay shows he’s correct; but the ump typically calls strike three, and Belt gets that momentary look of injustice on his face, and then walks slowly back to the dugout. At this point in his career, maybe he’ll finally realize that he’s just not going to get that call unless he’s a star player in the league. Rack up some numbers, and then the ump will start giving him that call more often. If he never racks up star numbers, then he needs to protect the plate with two strikes. It’s especially frustrating when it’s an RBI situation.

    • Flavor said, on March 22, 2016 at 9:16 am

      great post.

      • zumiee said, on March 22, 2016 at 9:20 am

        Thanks; we’re all pulling for Belt to have that “break out” year on offense, where he goes to the next level. If it doesn’t happen this year, though, it may never happen.

    • willedav said, on March 22, 2016 at 9:25 am

      Agreed Zum. Called third strikes bug me anyway. You’re a ml hitter so why give the ump the chance of screwing you over? Right or wrong he’s not changing it. Foul it off or drive it the other way and make someone make a play on you.
      In Belt’s case it’s especially true if the pitch is toward outside half of plate and team has the shift on. The P is going away from his D and the holes are there to hit the ball where they ain’t.

    • chipower9 said, on March 22, 2016 at 10:21 am

      Excellent post, Zumiee. While I am not YUGE BB9 fan, I am absolutely pulling for him.

  9. zumiee said, on March 22, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Having said that, the MLB Network has Belt in their Top 50 players in MLB. That’s a lot of respect being given to the Belt-meister. His value is known throughout the league. He’s obviously a terrific defensive firstbaseman. He’s the prototypical left-handed firstbaseman, making excellent throws to secondbase to start doubleplays. And he can pick the ball out of the dirt with the best of them. He doesn’t get the full recognition for his defense, because we’re in an era of several excellent defensive firstbaseman in the National League.

  10. zumiee said, on March 22, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Some of his injuries weren’t of his doing, but at least one of them was. That second concussion came from a baserunning mistake. He rounded secondbase too far, and they threw the ball back to secondbase and he hit his head on the defender’s knee while diving back into the bag. There was no reason to get caught that far off the bag. He does make the occasional baserunning blunder.

  11. zumiee said, on March 22, 2016 at 9:26 am

    And we automatically assume that it was Scutaro’s fault that he threw a ball that hit Belt in the face. But we don’t know 100% that it was Scutaro’s fault. What if Belt got momentarily distracted and lost sight of the ball or something? I’m sure it probably was Scutaro’s fault, but it would be interesting to get the actual story, which we never got.

  12. zumiee said, on March 22, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Speaking of injuries, there’s a lot of nervousness in Dodger Land today, as the team will get bone-scan results on Ethier. He fouled a pitch off his shin, and although x-rays didn’t show a fracture, Ethier’s in so much pain, they went for the more precise bone-scan, which uses radioactive dye.

  13. eddacker said, on March 22, 2016 at 9:40 am

    If Matt has a good season I am predicting 97 wins. Fortuna spinneth up, baby. The saran wrap will be plentiful.
    And if Belt has this breakout season we’ve heard about? This team could be bumping. Buh, bumpity-bump-bump, BUMP CITY!

    2016 the door to four.

    So why is it that when a player is hitting HRs during the spring everyone gets excite_edd and wants him on the team. But when a pitcher gives up home runs? It’s just spring training man. No biggie. Is heard almost as loud.

    • unca_chuck said, on March 22, 2016 at 10:59 am

      Because pitchers and hitters are working on different things.

      • eddacker said, on March 22, 2016 at 11:49 am

        thanks. I do understand that kind of. but we are talking about the same ball.

  14. willedav said, on March 22, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Defensive shifts are becoming more prominent given all the data available nowadays. Every team knows where every hitter hit every batted ball. Anyone that continues to try and hit into/over it is doomed, including Belt.
    Like anything else, you beat it by using entire field and finding the holes, you force other teams to adjust.

    I hit LH in my softball days and it was funny to watch everyone move 2-3 steps the minute you walked in the box even with 4 OFs..
    I wasn’t a power guy so I’d read the SS (out of corner of eye as I took practice swings and stared at RF), who often slid up the middle and left wide gap btw him and 3b. Often the 3b would move and give me the line too.

    If they continue to do this to Belt he has to make them pay and you don’t need to hit the ball 3 or 400 feet to do so.

    • Carstie Clausen said, on March 22, 2016 at 1:01 pm

      If they let Belt return to his natural line of development he should do just fine ~ particularly as he has the everyday good example demonstrated by arguably the most dangerous two-strike hitter in MLB ~ one Buster Posey. Our catcher dinks more singles into short right-center than Carter has peanuts and that generally when he has two strikes on him. If Belt can catch that wave when he’s in 2-strike territory he could quickly become a .300 hitter with an utterly obscene OBP.

  15. chipower9 said, on March 22, 2016 at 10:44 am

    Look guys, as much as I kid around about Belt, I am not a hater…just not a YUGE fan of Belt.

    And I realize there are other important considerations outside of HRs and RBIs. To WillieD’s point, I am not the one who made up the shit about corner IFers needing to be power guys. There are plenty with more baseball knowledge than me that have this feeling.

    Regardless, based on the body of work to date, I am just not a big fan of a big payday for BB9. Like I said yesterday, I would be down with three years at around 36 mil. IMO, no way I see him worthy of 20 mil per. That is just me.

    I truly do hope Belt has a great year, and that the team does buy-out his remaining two years of arb (to get the salary stability), and tacks on a year (or two via a club option).

    • Carstie Clausen said, on March 22, 2016 at 1:04 pm

      Twelve/year at 3 seasons seems reasonable compensation to me. There should be a codicil though. Performance-based hikes, should he attain mutually agreed upon goals. Sometimes fair is best.

      • chipower9 said, on March 22, 2016 at 2:48 pm

        I agree with throwing in some incentives. Good plan.

  16. sandog said, on March 22, 2016 at 11:21 am

    I still like Belt, but my patience is wearing a bit thin. For me, the the constant injuries and illnesses are probably what bug me the most. If he can’t stay on the field again this year, I will be ready to give up on him. I’m not big on reacting to body language, so that doesn’t bug me much.

    Willie: Kelsey Plum’s dad was a QB at SDSU when I was there. Real good athlete who went to Helix High down here. Powerhouse school that produced Bill Walton, Reggie Bush, Alex Smith, and others. Jim Plum traded off the QB job at SDSU with a guy named Todd Santos, who finally beat him out. Santos went on to have a great college career and a cup of coffee with the Saints. Plum switched to TE and later joined the baseball team.

    BTW, totally agree with you about being able to handle pressure being a huge part of coaching BB. If I take over next year, we are definitely going to emphasize press break in practice almost daily. This year the guys weren’t sure of what they were doing and we were basically screwed if our star guard couldn’t break the pressure himself.

    • willedav said, on March 22, 2016 at 11:45 am

      yeah I read Mom was v-ball player and her sisters played but she liked b-ball better. Went to LaJolla country day, same school as Candace Wiggins. She’s just a cool player to watch with variety of skills.

      The guy from SFA got a bigger job. Guys doing the game were at his practice day before last tourney game and they went long time playing 4 on D trying to stop 5, had to get 2 stops in a row to get off the floor. His team had great footwork and hustled and talked all over the floor.

      hear you and others on Belt. I think Giants brain trust jury is still out on him staying healthy too. I’d say this year his last to show them or they “go in another direction.” But nobody is blasting 25 a season playing their home games at ATT, that’s my take. 2012 Posey hit 24 (career high not matched since) Giants were dead last in HRs, won 94 games plus the Ring and finished 6th in runs scored. 2016 could be similar and better.

      • sandog said, on March 22, 2016 at 12:04 pm

        fyi The little country high school where I work used to be in the same league as La Jolla Country Day–because our enrollments were about the same. As you know, it was ridiculous as they recruit the whole county (Heisman Winner Rashan Salaam went there too)
        One year, we had one of our best football teams and were undefeated going into our game at LJCD. We were fired up. A bunch of us went and many fans traveled. Not only did they destroy us, but BOTH of our QB’s got knocked out of game, strapped to gurneys and taken off the premises in an ambulance.
        That was the last time we played them and re-categorizing schools based on factors other than enrollment finally came to pass not long after that.

      • willedav said, on March 22, 2016 at 12:39 pm

        There’s a tiny girls b-ball factory school up here maybe 15 minutes from where we had beers with flav eric and james that plays in small private league and regularly whomps opponents by 40+ and shoots 3s til the final buzzer sounds regardless of score. They send kids to D-1 college programs year after year.

        Do you know anything about that Chino Hills school in Boys Open title game (against DLS)? 3 Ball bros in one family, all headed to UCLA says the Dad and apparently capable of saving Alford’s job over there. They beat Mater Dei by 48 and won their SoCal title game by 22 over Bishop Montgomery of Torrance.

  17. Irish Kevin said, on March 22, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    I don’t think there are Belt haters here, so much as every year is can the Giants get a better 1st baseman, a power hitting 1st baseman. And as the Giants have proven over the last 5-6 years they just don’t need a power hitting 1st baseman. As it was pointed out, Belts Defense makes up for any lack of power he might show or not show. Look at the Teams the Giants played in the playoffs to get to the World Series, some of those teams had some great power hitters, but the Giants still one with the players they had.

    Oh and loved the 2016 door to four!!

    • Irish Kevin said, on March 22, 2016 at 12:39 pm

      Someone needs to make a Tshirt “2016 Giants baseball the door to four”

      • chipower9 said, on March 22, 2016 at 12:47 pm

        You’re elected! When can I get my copy? 😉

  18. unca_chuck said, on March 22, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    Ethier out 10-14 weeks with a fractured tibia . . .

    • zumiee said, on March 22, 2016 at 3:38 pm

      A comment from a Dodger blog:

      Dodgers’ deep roster is quickly becoming like the guy down the street with 15 broken cars in front of the house.

      by Baka Zoku on Mar 22, 2016 | 2:49 PM

  19. zumiee said, on March 22, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    The Giants are in danger of losing a split-squad game to the White Sox, on an Ishikawa HR. Small world!
    The other split-squad game is tonight.

    The Red Sox got one-hit today by the Mariners. I wonder how many no-hitters have been thrown in Spring Training over the years. Probably very very few.

    • sfsarge said, on March 22, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      I can’t imagine a team letting a guy go 9 in a spring training game.

      • zumiee said, on March 22, 2016 at 4:08 pm

        Oh, I meant even a combined one from several pitchers.

    • sfsarge said, on March 22, 2016 at 4:23 pm

      Ahh, ok

  20. snarkk said, on March 22, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    If U trade Belt:
    1. What do u get in return?
    2. Who plays 1st– it ain’t Posey, according to him.
    Belt is the best 1st baseman since JT. Do we really want to revisit the bad ol days of Klesko, Garko, Minor, et al?…

    • Carstie Clausen said, on March 22, 2016 at 7:40 pm

      Good questions. Anybody have answers?

    • Flavor said, on March 22, 2016 at 7:50 pm

      Posey will play where he’s told to play. He doesn’t run the team. But assuming he manages to beg out of the move, I don’t think you have to assume the Giants go the route of the 3 busts you listed. If Belt is worth what everyone says he’s worth there should be teams beating down Evans front office with offers. So what we get back will probably be pretty good. Pitching prospect and likely a first base prospect…….

  21. Flavor said, on March 22, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    I disagree with this but it’s an interesting take:
    Andrew Baggarly ‏@extrabaggs 2m2 minutes ago
    Denard Span will hit for more power than you think. He just hit his 2nd HR of the spring. Career could take a Ray Durham trajectory.
    ______
    also, I think it’s very likely that Durham’s *trajectory* was probably boosted by steroid use—2006 he popped with 26 home runs.

  22. willedav said, on March 22, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    I’m skeptical Posey numbers automatically explode if/when he goes to 1b full time. I don’t really see the OPS going up to .900 and him blasting 25+ HRs. He’s averaged 20 even over last 4 seasons. To move him giants have to be able to fill that spot with bona fide ml hitter.

    As for Span, as long as he can stay in LU and lead off, he’ll give team so much more than what they got last year. Ahead of Panik duffy Posey Pence, yeow he could score 100.


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