The 2011 season is over for the Giants, but there will still be questions about the way in which Brandon Belt was handled during his first full year with the bigs.
In fact, Belt's already said that he's disappointed in the way 2011 played out for him. And he recently expounded on that subject, plus winter ball.
"This season, my first in the majors, was not at all what I expected," Belt wrote in his most recent blog entry at MLB.com. "If I had written out a plan for this season, it would have been the total opposite of what actually happened. It was just a rollercoaster. I was doing well, doing poorly.
"I was up, I was down. I was healthy, I was hurt. I seemed to go through the entire spectrum."
All of this is true, and, in fairness to Belt (and Bochy and Sabean), he's not necessarily being that critical -- he called 2011 a "learning experience."
Also a learning experience? Living in the Dominican Republic during the offseason to play winter ball and, hopefully, improve his mechanics.
We knew Belt would be doing this, and some of his comments also beg the question whether it's a good thing for him or not, although he says he knows "it's exactly what [he] need[s] to do to get back on track."
"But right now I’m just worn out," Belt wrote in his most recent blog entry at MLB.com. "The last few weeks, I’ve been sore after games and then sore the next day – which kind of took energy away from the game that day. My mind was always still in it, but my body just felt like it was dead."
The good thing about winter ball is that it doesn't have the same grind as the regular season. Additionally, living in the Dominican during the coldest part of the American summer isn't exactly horrible either.
Especially if it means Belt's stronger, more proficient with his swing, and better prepared for the unusual grind of the MLB season.