After the Giants lost 7-2 to the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday, the Giants, losers of eight games on their ten game homestand, had a move to make with Brandon Belt expected to be activated and put into the two-spot in the lineup for Friday’s game. I think everybody guessed that with Belt being back, there was no need for an extra first baseman, so that meant Adam Duvall was probably on the short list in order to get more playing time in Fresno in a league where he has dominated. Indeed, that is what happened:
#sfgiants optioned Duvall for Belt spot.
— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) July 3, 2014
Even after today’s single, Duvall finished his cup of coffee with a .167 AVG and OBP, .239 wOBA, and 52 wRC+ and one home run. It wouldn’t have been fair to expect Duvall to race on to the scene, but in the midst of a losing spell like what the Giants have been going through, you can only hope you catch someone on a hot streak. Belt has been out since he got hit by a Paul Maholm pitch on the thumb on May 9th. His .317 OBP up until then wasn’t stellar, but his nine home runs led the team for a while even after he was gone, and also had a solid .357 wOBA and 134 wRC+. Belt’s presence in what has looked to be a depressing lineup will be welcome, but just as in 2013, this team will struggle if its outfield depth continues to be a problem.
Bochy had no update on Pagan. Had’t spoken with trainers. — Carl Steward (@stewardsfolly) July 3, 2014
So, nothing new on Angel Pagan. However, Belt’s just about back, so that’s a start. Marco Scutaro could be back after the All Star break in a reserve role and if Pagan ever makes his way back this team could start to resemble the one that made the 2012 run. After 2013, I temper my optimism even with Belt back, as we saw what this team without the help of a capable center fielder on offense and defense can (not) be.
The Giants will have a trio of afternoon games with the Padres, with the July 4th edition beginning at 3:40 PM PST. Maybe a change of scenery (plus the addition of Belt) will help the team.