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Brandon Belt is in a battle for one of the final spots on the roster
The way it looks right now, Brandon Belt could be fighting Brett Pill for the final spot on the opening day roster.
There are points favoring each player, but whoever is sent down to the minors will be back in the majors before too long.
Belt was supposed to be the rookie phenom in 2011, but struggled at the plate and lost confidence. He was shuffled in and out of the lineup and also back and forth from Fresno. There were definite holes in Belt's long, loopy swing and big league pitchers took advantage of that.
In 2011, while playing in the majors, Belt hit only .225, with nine home runs and 18 RBI. He could not hit the inside fastball and as he started to cheat by opening up early with his swing, he was fooled by off-speed stuff away.
Belt played winter ball, did well and regained his confidence. He is playing well in spring training games and doing everything he can to make the ball club.
Belt is a better defensive player than Pill and, in addition to first base, is an adequate outfielder. The Giants could opt to mix Belt in at both first base and the outfield.
The bottom line for the Giants and Belt is that if he makes the roster, he needs to start and play at least four games a week.
Pill is primarily a first baseman, although he has played some outfield and second base and could fill in if there was an emergency. Pill had a much better showing in 2011, hitting .300, with two home runs and nine RBI in 50 at bats.
It was a small sample size, but Pill was impressive with his approach at the plate and the adjustments he made very quickly. It seems like Pill would be a better option coming off the bench as mostly a right handed pinch hitter.
In 2011, while in Fresno, Pill hit .312 with 25 home runs and 107 RBI. His OPS was a very strong .871 and at the age of 27, doesn't have much more to prove in the minors.
The Giants have a very tough decision to make regarding keeping Belt or Pill.
No matter who is sent down, expect him to be back in San Francisco whenever the Giants need some reinforcements.