If Brandon Belt gets sent down to make room for Cody Ross, the title is a play on the phrase "dead man walking." If he stays up, the title is a play on the fact that right now, without a game being played, Brandon Belt is taking a pitch. Ambiguity!
About two weeks ago, I wrote the following:
Rule #5 - He doesn't get sent down until he's hitting .130 with a K/BB ratio of 41/4
He belongs. This is the kind of my-eyes-done-told-me nonsense that leads to Eugenio Velez starting after a hot streak. This is exactly the sort of anecdotal observation masquerading as rational analysis that usually leads to 600-word screeds at this very site. So, yeah, I'm a bit of a hypocrite. But Belt is a major league hitter right now. Feel it in my bones, I do.
Yeah, I think I'd like to withdraw that. He needs to play every day, and it's hard to justify sitting Cody Ross, Pat Burrell, or Aubrey Huff for him right now. If this were the Giants of almost any other year, there would be enough room for Belt. This year, there are three corner spots and three competent corner players on a team built to win immediately.
Before the season started, I figured it was obvious that between Belt, Burrell, Huff, and Ross, Belt was one of the three best players, which would mean that he should be in any sort of win-now! permutation. I'm not sure if that's still true.
I could be convinced that's still true after a couple of 3-4 games, so I'm conflicted, but I'm not going to rabble rouse if he's sent down. Two weeks ago, I wouldn't have believed that I could type those words, but, well, that's how bad of a two-week stretch Belt has had. It wasn't .130, and it wasn't a K/BB ratio of 41/4, but it wasn't far off.
If he stays up? He plays. He doesn't rot on the bench, trying to learn from osmosis. There would have to be a rotating day off for Huff, Burrell, Ross, and Belt -- with two lefties and two righties, it wouldn't be the hardest arrangement in the world, though it's a little forced. That's if he stays up, which he probably shouldn't. The Giants obviously feel the same way, but that objection has to be noted in advance.