Brandon Belt: Time for a Change at First Base for the San Francisco Giants

Bruce FriedmanCorrespondent IIJuly 23, 2012

Another Long Walk Back to the Dugout for Giants First Baseman Brandon Belt
Another Long Walk Back to the Dugout for Giants First Baseman Brandon BeltGreg Fiume/Getty Images

Like most Giants fans, I really like Brandon Belt. He still could be the team's future at first base, but right now, San Francisco needs to make a change.

Belt looks completely lost at the plate and the numbers don't lie. 

He was 1-20 with eight strikeouts on the last road trip. He's also three for his last 41 and nine for his last 66 with 25 punch outs.

Something needs to change.

Belt has been so up and down this year, the Giants never know what they're getting. But what they're getting right now is an almost sure out.

Belt has been batting eighth the last couple of games, and the next move is out of the lineup and probably back to Fresno.

Hopefully, he can get his stroke back in time to help the Giants down the stretch. 

But the question is, who do you replace him with?

The Giants' options are very limited.

Aubrey Huff, who was poised to probably replace Belt, has re-injured his knee and is out indefinitely.

On the current roster, the only option is to put Pablo Sandoval at first base and Joaquin Arias at third. But that doesn't do much to help the offense, since Arias isn't exactly the reincarnation of Babe Ruth.

When Hector Sanchez comes off the DL in early August, the Giants can obviously move Buster Posey to first for most games and put Sanchez behind the dish. But that's over a week away.

Another short-term fix would be to recall Brett Pill and send Belt down in his place. But Pill didn't exactly tear the cover off the ball his first time around. The difference this time would be that he would have the opportunity to play every day for the first time. That could be good or bad for the Giants. 

With the trade deadline a little over a week away, getting a corner infielder with pop is a huge priority for the Giants. While the options at first base all leave a lot to be desired, San Diego Padres third baseman Chase Headley is supposedly available according to ESPN's Jim Bowden on Twitter.

But with the Padres giving an extension to Carlos Quentin and supposedly talking extension with Huston Street according to's Scott Miller, Headley could get an extension as well. 

If the Giants could pry Headley away, he would be an excellent get. He's only 28, has pop, plays a nice third base and will be eligible for arbitration for only the second time next season, so he's under team control for two more years.

The big question is, at what cost?

And the Giants have other needs. The bullpen could use help and an outfielder with power would be an even bigger addition. 

We'll see what Giants GM Brian Sabean has up his sleeve in the coming days.

But one thing is for sure. The days of Brandon Belt as the Giants' first baseman in 2012 are numbered.