After Bochy's comment about how Belt looks a bit lost at the plate, and all the threads and subthreads about Belt and his playing time, I decided to take a look at exactly how his playing time has been metered out. I present without bias or judgement, the following information graphically represented for your analyzation. Brandon Belt's playing time and results.
The following includes last night's marathon laffer, but does not include today's game where Belt also started.
Some thoughts free from judgement:
• Belt has played in the last 32 games, and started in 9 of the last 16, and the 16 straight before that.
• Of the 16 game starting streak where Brandon got hot, note that he started slowly, going 0 for his first 2 games, and getting a single hit in his third game before really getting hot.
• Of the 16 game starting streak where Brandon got hot, note that he ended slowly, going 1-11 with 4 K's over a 3 game span. He then had an off day, and then started the following 2 games where he went 1-8 with 3K's.
• Prior to today, Belt is two for his last six games started.
• Belt has 10 2-hit games, and 1 3-hit games.
• He has 9 multiple BB games.
• He has 18 multiple K games.
• Belt has not had more than one day off in a row in the last 37 games.
• Hector Sanchez has started 31 games. Of those 31 games, Brandon Belt has started WITH Sanchez 10 times.
Some thoughts with judgement that you may or may not disagree with:
Man, when I was putting this together it was incredible how glaring the number of walks Belt has accumulated, which we all know by his OBP/OPS. I plugged in a lot of 0-fers with a walk (or two). What's also glaring is the number of multiple-strikeout games he has had. 18 times so far he's struck out more than once in a game, which is probably what has led many of to say that when Belt looks bad, he looks BAD.
I know that OBP and OPS are pretty important stats, and that a walk is as good as a hit in some ways. But then I look at how sparse the dark green (hit) squares are at times, and it's a little disheartening. And I look at all those light green squares (walks) and think about how much nicer things would look if those had been hits instead of walks. Heck, even singles, where the results are exactly the same (never mind the possibility for an XBH or moving a runner).
That said, the number of green squares (BB/hit) in total is pretty high IMO, and of his 54 starts this season, he has reached base twice in a whopping 28 games. Or put it this way: In just over HALF the games Brandon Belt has started, he has reached base at least two times.
I will say that I can understand at times Bochy's frustrations with Belt, and how it could seem like he's content to just walk. I'm sure Belt is not content to just walk, but when you look at the results I can see how Bochy would be hesitant to have Belt up in a big spot, or give regular playing time to someone who doesn't get hits as frequently as Bochy would like.
I also don't know that I can say that Belt "has it figured out" at the plate just yet. I want him to. And I'm rooting for him. I hope to plug in many more dark green and light green squares for the rest of the season, and decrease the amount of pink/red K squares too. Get well Belt, I honestly believe the spot is still yours for the taking.
You are free to draw your own conclusions from this as you wish.
PS- maybe if someone sends this to Bochy, he'll bat Belt 2nd.