{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Belt shining with glove despite offensive slump

|
Belt shining with glove despite offensive slump play video for Belt shining with glove despite offensive slump

SAN FRANCISCO -- Brandon Belt has avoided the pitfall of allowing an offensive lapse to hamper his defense.

Belt has endured a 2-for-20 skid in his last five games, including an 0-for-4, four-strikeout performance Sunday in the Giants' 4-1 Interleague victory over Cleveland. The San Francisco first baseman has struck out in 11 of his last 15 at-bats.

"His bat looks like it's made by chasm," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, referring to Belt's late swings.

However, Belt recorded a couple of deft assists with feeds to pitchers covering first base Sunday. One day earlier, he made several short-hop pickups of infielders' throws, besides alertly starting a 3-5-4 double play after pouncing on Zach McAllister's fourth-inning bunt.

According to fangraphs.com, Belt entered Sunday ranked 10th among Major League first basemen in revised zone rating (which measures the proportion of balls hit into a fielder's zone that were successfully converted into an out) and third in out-of-zone plays made.

Bochy acknowledged Belt's defense by leaving him in the lineup Sunday, due to Cleveland's preponderance of left-handed batters and switch-hitters who would swing left-handed against starter Ryan Vogelsong. Yan Gomes was the only right-handed batter in Cleveland's order.

"We need [Belt's] defense out there," Bochy said. "He has done a really good job with the glove."

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español