San Francisco Giants rookie first baseman Brandon Belt is only 2 for 13, but he already looks like he belongs. He leads the club with four walks and 4.65 pitches per plate appearance.
Belt, though, is not a lock to stay with the Giants after right fielder Cody Ross recovers from his strained right calf, possibly by the end of the month.
The Giants will base their decision on Belt’s play and the health and performances of others, major league sources say. The situation is delicate, for at least one member of the Giants’ 2010 World Series championship team would lose playing time if Belt remains with the club.
The return of Ross to right field could shift Aubrey Huff to left, forcing Pat Burrell into a lesser role. The demotion of Belt, on the other hand, would enable the Giants to return Huff to first without disrupting Burrell or anyone else.
The Giants likely will go with the hottest hand, and their inclusion of Belt on their Opening Day roster demonstrated that they were more committed to winning than service-time considerations.
Still, a player who spends at least 20 days in the minors does not get a full year of major league service. The Giants could demote Belt for that length of time and delay his free agency by a year.
— Ken Rosenthal