Point: Brandon Belt might be the left-handed bat the Giants need off the bench. He could start at first for a couple of games every week, which would effectively push Aaron Rowand out of the lineup against tough righties. It’s a big jump for a player who started in A-ball this year, but maybe he’ll be this year’s Pablo Sandoval. Well, not this year’s Pablo. Maybe he could be the two years ago Pablo for this year.
Counterpoint: Belt has never been through a pennant race. Give me one example of a rookie who helped a team in a pennant race or in the playoffs.
Point: I’ll dig deep on this one and say, "Buster Posey."
Counterpoint: Okay, that’s one.
Point: Will Clark.
Counterpoint: Well, now you’re just pulling out all-time Giants greats. And, yes, I know Willie Mays helped the Giants win the ‘51 pennant as a rookie. You can’t just assume Belt is an all-time great.
Point: Dustin Pedroia. Miguel Cabrera. Andruw Jones.
Counterpoint: Got it. Belt is guaranteed to have a Hall-of-Fame kind of peak, so let’s play him.
Point: No, you asked for one example of a rookie who helped a team in a pennant race or in the playoffs. Fine. Nick Swisher, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Geovany Soto.
Counterpoint: Yeah, but those guys were good, so they got playing time. You can’t give playing time to a guy if you don’t know if he’s good.
Point: Wait, that...
Counterpoint: Rookies are an unknown quantity. You can’t trust them to succeed, so they shouldn’t play until you can trust them.
Point: This is the worst point/counterpoint this site has ever hosted. Do you want to take a break while I jot down some legitimate counterpoints? There’s the service time issue. There’s the idea that his minor league numbers won’t translate as well as one might think, especially considering he’s still learning a new swing. Those are legitimate reasons. The Giants organization might know there’s a hole in his swing that could get exploited at the major league level, and they’re still working with him.
There are legitimate reasons to not want Belt up. Heck, I kind of agree that it’s too soon. I’m just playing devil’s advocate because that’s the job description. The biggest argument is that he’d get Poseyed if he came up. He’d get, like, sixteen at-bats between now and the end of the season.
Counterpoint: Damn right he would. I’d see to that.
Point: Wait a second, why is your voice so deep and anesthetizing...
turns on lights
Point: Oh, god.
Counterpoint: The temp agency called me because someone was sick.
Point: There’s no temp agency! Get out of my bed! And why are you wearing my wife’s negligee?
Counterpoint: I was told that Counterpoint was the girl. I was getting in character.
Point: Get out, get out, get out!
They later found Counterpoint’s body in a storage locker at the Greyhound station. That’s probably why you haven’t seen this hoary old format in a while.
Long story short: Brandon Belt might get playing time if he goes 11 for his first 16 in the majors. Anything less, and he’ll just be racking up service time while sitting on the bench. He might not even get a chance to get 16 at-bats. That’s all Posey had in a month last year, remember. I’m Belt-curious, but there’s no way it will work.