Brandon Belt Disappointed With First Year

Brandon Belt's returning to the scene of his debut on Tuesday -- Tim Lincecum will take on Clayton Kershaw in Dodger Stadium, just like on Opening Day.

But the trip that Belt took to get from his first MLB start to Tuesday night wasn't exactly a normal one. In fact, it's probably one he'd prefer to move on from, regardless of the outcome for the Giants.

"It's definitely not been the year I planned out. It's not what I expected to do," Belt told Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle last week. "I hope I can get better and stay up here the whole year next year."

Schulman's article is entitled "Could SF Giants have handled Belt's 1st year better?" I have to assume this is a rhetorical question, because as we've chronicled numerous times in this spot, there's really no way the Giants could have handled it worse.

Belt's been yo-yo'd back and forth between San Francisco and Frenso all season, and when he's made it back up to the big-league club, he hasn't received a ton of playing time and/or starts.

"I'm sure Brandon is frustrated with the way he's been used at times, but he handled it well," manager Bruce Bochy said.

No, probably not. But he's played pretty well when he's been given time to shine -- Belt's batting average in 25 starts over the past few months is well south of .225, and that's not good. But he's hit six home runs over that span as well and has smacked the ball around nicely in this hot stretch for the Giants.

Aubrey Huff's still got one more year on his (mistake of a) deal, so Belt's not going to be in the clear just because he's in his second year.

But he's heading to the Dominican this offseason at the behest of Bruce Bochy, and the Giants appear ready to pull the plug on Huff if he struggles immediately in 2012.

So at the very least, Belt's baseball experience can only get better.

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