Postgame Wrap: Brandons Watched

Nothing was perfect today.

In light of that, and the fact that I didn’t get to write about last night’s game, I’ll keep today’s post to my favorite segment,

Brandon Watch:

The reason this segment exists is because of the way the Giants were constructed coming into 2012. First base was a clustf*ck, with Huff’s contract and Brett Pill’s non-prospect shine blinding Gollum Bruce Bochy into thinking he could hit lefties. The Giants failed to make even a Tejada-n effort to get a shortstop in the off-season, relying on other acquisitions to hold up the offense while Brandon Crawford would shore up the defense. Fine. But with these decisions, the development of Brandons Crawford and Belt would be key to keeping the Giants in playoff contention.

Belt: In 2011, Belt hit a home run every 20.7 at-bats with a SLG % of .412. Before Monday’s game, Belt had yet to hit a home run and was slugging .328, 2 points below Robert Andino. Blame the lack of consistent playing time, the hole in Belt’s swing, or hey, the lack of at-bats against left-handers. Belt has now taken three Astros lefties deep in three days, sort an eff you to Giants brass who insisted that Belt couldn’t do something they had never seen him attempt. And that Brett Pill could do it, which they also had no evidence of over a kajillion minor-league at-bats.

Furthering the eff you, Belt’s home runs were not cheapies. AT&T park is no joke, just ask every Giant over the last month that isn’t named Madison Bumgarner. It is stretches like these that turn prospects into starters and starters into stars. Exactly which of these Belt is remains to be seen, but the national media and the Giants blogosphere all can relax for a few days and allow their Golden Boy to have his moment, and quash any rumors of trading for Xavier Nady.

Great defense. Elite batting eye. Glimpses of 30-homer power. Brandon Belt is 24 and has a wRC+ of 105. Jason Giambi’s 24-year-old season: .256/.364/.398 with 6 home runs in 176 at-bats, good for a wRC+ of 106.

#FreeBelt #BeltFree #Belted

Crawford: Stuck in a true platoon with Joaquin Arias it appears. Over their limited career sample-sizes, Arias does hit lefties better and Crawford is less of an offensive abomination against righties. Does this mean, defense included, that a straight platoon is the best option for the Giants?

No. Brandon Crawford should start every game against right-handers and a nice chunk of games against lefties. The future of the Giants is not tied to Joaquin Arias’ bat, nor is it tied to Crawford’s. But Crawford is a part of this team’s long-term goals, and his poor man’s Ozzie Smith defense should keep him in the lineup more often than not. I like Arias as more of an option at second base when Theriot cools down, and to spell Crawford and Sandoval on the left side of the infield.

Stats of the Day:

184: Number of times I have watched the Gregor Blanco catch

4: The number of Giants starters who are married

1: Tim Lincecum, ladies

0: Innings that passed without mentioning the perfect game

One thought on “Postgame Wrap: Brandons Watched

  1. Skippy

    Keep up the good work Thomas. Thanks for the insight. Should be an interesting game tonight with Lincecum going in front of his home town crowd.

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