For all the hand-wringing associated with Brandon Belt since the Giants called him up to start last season's Opening Day, it looks like he's finally settled into a being a pretty good hitter. Which is why it makes total sense for Bruce Bochy to bat him second in the Giants lineup.
Yes, that was both serious and sarcastic.
Since the beginning of August, Belt's been proving the haters wrong, posting .438/.500/.1.125, with zero home runs, four walks, four doubles and 14 hits in 11 games. His lack of home runs might be concerning, but the important thing to note here is that he's getting on base at a ridiculous clip right now.
Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle isn't known as one of the most Belt-loving writers out there, but he's taking the stance that the Giants should move the young first baseman to second in the lineup.
And Schulman says there's someone on staff in Bochy's ear to do just that.
"There is at least one statistical analyst on staff who has suggested to manager Bruce Bochy that he bat Brandon Belt second," Schulman writes. "Many of you have been arguing for that a long time."
Belt averages, per Schulman, 4.16 pitcher per plate appearance. That would give him the fifth-highest average in baseball if he qualified with at-bats. Buster Posey is first, at 4.20.
The obvious thing here is that you want someone who sees a lot of pitches higher up in your lineup. That means they get more at-bats and that means more total pitches for an opponent. That's a good thing.
It's doubly important here, though, because Belt's getting on base and Posey needs someone to drive in. Ryan Theriot is not the answer to that problem.
Yes, moving Belt is dangerous in the sense that it would create a nightmarish outcry if he began to struggle and kept being yo-yo'ed (again, for the millionth time). The scrutiny on Belt once the swap happened would stink as well, and so would the production at the bottom of the order.
He's not batting second on Tuesday night, but don't rule it out in the future.