The Giants offense has been lifeless over the past week and now, their best offensive threat is injured. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval broke the hamate bone in his right hand while taking a swing in Washington on Friday and will have surgery to remove it this Tuesday in Arizona. He will likely miss at least 4-6 weeks, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
The injury to Sandoval couldn't come at a worse time for a Giants lineup that is struggling to score runs. The Giants have been shutout twice in the past four games and many of their key hitters currently have batting averages in the low .200s.
Ryan Rohlinger, who got some playing time with the Giants last season, has been called up from Triple-A Fresno and should be with the club for Sunday's game against the Nationals. On Saturday, Bruce Bochy moved Miguel Tejada, who has played the last several years at third base, to the hot corner and gave Mike Fontenot a start at shortstop.
After their dismal offensive start to the current ten-game road trip, questions arose about what the Giants need to do to wake up at the plate. Now those questions will only intensify, as the Giants' leading hitter, Sandoval, is out for at least a month.
One of the questions that is certain to come up is whether the Giants should recall Brandon Belt, who was sent down to Fresno to work on what has been called a minor tweak needed for him to square up fastballs. Belt, since being sent back to Triple-A, is hitting .429 with two doubles, two home runs and six RBI's in just five games.
It appears that Belt has made the minor adjustment to his swing and, from all accounts, he looked to be a very patient hitter at the plate during his 17 games with the Giants, walking eight times in 52 at-bats. His high strikeout total and lack of productivity when swinging, however, led to his demotion to Fresno.
The Giants will need to give serious thought to the idea of bringing Belt back to bolster a lineup that is in dire need of new blood. Last season, when Buster Posey was called up from Fresno in May, his presence gave the Giants a spark that led to a remarkable turnaround, from a .500 ballclub just prior to the All-Star break to a postseason berth and eventually, a world championship.
Perhaps what this club needs now is another infusion of new blood in the form of Brandon Belt's bat.