Bochy says he's sticking with Belt

April 8, 2012, 7:28 pm
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PHOENIX -- Brandon Belt struck out four times in his first eight at-bats, but he's in Sunday's lineup at first base. And Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Belt would be in the lineup Monday at Colorado, too.

Bochy might have had Belt on a yo-yo string all last season, but he plans to give the gifted left-handed hitter plenty of rope this year.

"He's going to be out there," Bochy reaffirmed. "That's what you do. It's two games here."

Giants GM Brian Sabean said he and Bochy are on the same page about committing to Belt.

"The only way you're going to make adjustments at the major league speed of the game is to play at this level," Sabean told me. "Triple-A pitching is so far removed from what you see up here, and maybe moreso in our division. So if he went down there and hit .400, what would that mean?"

Sabean said it'll be up to Belt to show he can make those adjustments, particularly to show he can drive the middle-in fastball.

"He's going to be given chances," Sabean said. "That's why he's up here. And I think he already has (adjusted) to a certain extent. He already did to make the team. He wasn't getting his hits at the back end of games. It was spring training, but he was facing major league pitchers and relievers."

There's one other difference this year. When Belt was told he made the team, he didn't shed any tears.

"This year compared to last year, he's got more confidence and he's not as wide-eyed," Sabean said. "You can say the same thing about (shortstop Brandon) Crawford. They feel they belong here."

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