Giants Promote Catcher Hector Sanchez, 3 Reasons Brandon Belt Is Still in Fresno
Hector Sanchez, who has been putting up solid numbers and handling his catching duties admirably at Triple-A Fresno, had his contract purchased today by the San Francisco Giants according to Giants beat writer Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News.
Sanchez hit .302 with 8 home runs and 58 RBI in 67 games between San Jose and Fresno this season.
His promotion coincides with Pat Burrell's placement on the disabled list due to a bone spur in his foot.
With Sanchez being promoted and the Giants now carrying three catchers (including current roster members Eli Whiteside and Chris Stewart), the big question is: why hasn't slugger Brandon Belt been promoted yet?
Here are three big reasons ...
1. The Giants Are Winning
Despite all of San Francisco's problems, including an anemic offense and multiple key injuries, the Giants have been finding a way to win, and find themselves a season-high 13 games over .500, and 3.5 games ahead of the second-place Arizona Diamondbacks in the N.L. West after coming from behind late to defeat the Padres on July 14.
The Giants aren't in a pinch for offense when the offense they have is somehow getting the job done, and as long as this holds true, Belt will be kept as an insurance policy in Fresno, likely to be cashed-in during the stretch run of August/September.
2. Belt Needs to Have Confidence When He Returns to the Big Leagues
So much of baseball is embodied in the confidence a player has that he can perform at a high level.
Since Brandon Belt got off to such a slow start after making the big league club out of spring training, it's of the utmost importance that when he is promoted this time he doesn't feel the burden of having to carry an anemic offense all on his rookie shoulders.
Keeping him at Fresno to hone his skills even more and to master his powerful stroke could pay substantial dividends come the stretch run push toward October.
3. The Longer Belt Stays in Fresno, the Longer the Giants Have Control
Given how highly the Giants think of Brandon Belt, and how much talent they see in him, front office executives in San Francisco know that he will be a coveted prize once the team loses contractual control over his services.
That gives the Giants another reason to have Belt spend as much time as possible this season at Triple-A before bringing him up, adding more time to the contractual clock before Belt can exercise free agency in the future.
When Belt Does Finally Return to the Giants, It'll Be for the Playoff Push
Brandon Belt is a great asset for the Giants to have in their back pocket going into August and September. When the time is right, look for him to not only be called up, but to produce well for the defending champs as they continue their quest to defend the World Series title.