The San Francisco Giants got their guy, and hopes are high for a World Series repeat this season. Just looking at the new lineup, you can tell how much of a difference Beltran is to this team.
He adds sexiness to a lackluster lineup. Beltran, Sandoval, Huff and Schierholtz is a good way to go 3-6 in the lineup. It is clear to a Giants fan, at least, who is sick of the dull roster that lacked a power hitter.
As I sat in front of the television on Thursday night, I could not help but treat Beltran’s at-bats like I had treated Barry Bonds’ at-bats back in the day.
I could walk around and do stuff around the house for the rest of the lineup, but when Beltran came up, everything stopped and I sat down.
Not since Bonds has a Giants’ hitter had such an aura around him when he walked to the plate.
However, his aura also changes some things on the roster, at least mentally.
Aubrey Huff is struggling, and although we do see sparks from him, it is a far cry from what we saw in 2010.
It is for that reason that there is growing controversy about Huff’s role on this ball club.
Comcast Sportsnet’s Mychael Urban recently wrote an article on the inklings that Huff may be given a short leash for the rest of the season. He also gave us the teaser that we may be seeing more of Brandon Belt in the near future of things keep up.
The Beltran trade changes everything for Huff. He went from a middle of the order power threat to a player questioned about his $22 million contract, while hitting just .239.
With Beltran in the lineup, the Giants do not need Huff’s threat of a big bat, which is why he better get hitting.
Belt is a viable option to start in the playoffs at first base if Huff continues to be a non-factor in this lineup, as he has been.
While Huff has been in a continued slump, Belt seems to be more relaxed and ready for the MLB in his second call-up to San Francisco. If nothing else, Belt gives the team good at-bats. These days, Huff is a waste of one.
With Beltran, Bruce Bochy gets to be more flexible with his lineup card. Huff does not have to be a constant presence batting fourth, fifth or sixth because of the big bat he swings.
Good at-bats is what the Giants crave now that Beltran is the heart of the lineup, and Belt is a real option to attain that.
San Francisco gets a whole lot better by adding Beltran, but the lineup still continues to be one that could be so much more well-rounded by making just a few key moves.
Huff is currently on the hot seat at first base, which is why he needs to perform in the next couple weeks or we may find him playing the role of the 2011 version of Mark DeRosa in the 2010 playoffs.
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