Bochy meets with 'pressing' Belt


Bochy meets with 'pressing' Belt

DENVER -- Bruce Bochy has managed major league players for 18 seasons. When does he know a struggling player needs a day to clear his head?

"Well, when a hitter tells me he's pressing, or I get word that it's probably time to give him a day," Bochy said.

Brandon Belt made that admission after a rough season-opening series at Arizona in which he was 1 for 10 with five strikeouts. So Bochy gave Belt a day off Monday at Colorado.

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But Bochy reiterated that he will not yo-yo Belt in and out of the lineup. The talented first baseman will get every opportunity to settle in, the manager said. And he'll be in the lineup Wednesday, after the entire team takes Tuesday off.

"It's natural for young hitters to want to get off to a good start," Bochy said. "They can lose sight that there's a lot of games in a season. The first few games won't determine what kind of year you'll have."

After the third or fourth question about Belt, Bochy waved his hands.

"You know, we're overstating this a little bit," Bochy said. "He's getting a day, and I want to get a little more speed in the outfield, it's fair to say (Aubrey) Huff is swinging a little better than Brandon, and we haven't won a game. So we're putting the best lineup out there. I think we're getting a little caught up here. There's no panic (with Belt)."

Bochy said he sent a message in his meeting with Belt.

"I told him it's too early to press," Bochy said. "We've just played three games. He admitted it, which is, really, too strong a word. He wanted to contribute."

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As for the fear from fans that the Giants might yank Belt in and out of the lineup, Bochy had an immediate response.

"That's not going to happen," he said. "We're not going to let it happen. ... I don't want these guys to think that way three games into the season. I don't want anybody to put too much pressure on themselves."

Speaking in general terms, Bochy said he is always interested to watch the body language of players when they are struggling.

"How they handle it, that's what separates good players from great ones," Bochy said. "It's how they deal with adversity. That's what you've gotta have in this game."

The Giants made one change from the original lineup, trading corner outfield spots with Melky Cabrera and Gregor Blanco. Cabrera is in left field, with Blanco in right. Angel Pagan is still starting in center. Bochy noted that Barry Zito is a fly ball pitcher and so it was a good day to move Huff from left field to first base.

Bochy agreed with the suggestion that Cabrera will be one guy who should expect to be in the lineup every single day. Cabrera had 706 plate appearances in 155 games for Kansas City last season.

"He takes care of himself," Bochy said. "He's got a great work ethic and he's one of those guys who is so durable. He goes out there every day. You can forget about him. He's one of those guys we're talking about, who doesn't need a break mentally."

Giants lineup: Bochy places Arroyo right behind Posey vs Dodgers

Giants lineup: Bochy places Arroyo right behind Posey vs Dodgers

After recording his first hit in the big leagues, the Giants are making Christian Arroyo into Buster Posey's protection vs. the Dodgers.

Los Angeles Dodgers (10-11)

1. Cody Bellinger (L) LF
2. Corey Seager (L) SS
3. Justin Turner (R) 3B
4. Adrian Gonzalez (L) 1B
5. Yasmani Grandal (S) C
6. Yasiel Puig (R) RF
7. Chase Utley (L) 2B
8. Andrew Toles (L) CF
9. Alex Wood (R) P

San Francisco Giants (7-14)

1. Hunter Pence (R) RF
2. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
3. Eduardo Nunez (R) SS
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Christian Arroyo (R) 3B
6. Joe Panik (L) 2B
7. Gorkys Hernandez (R) LF
8. Drew Stubbs (R) CF
9. Johnny Cueto (R) P

Giants call up Morse, place Span on DL, put Crawford on bereavement list

Giants call up Morse, place Span on DL, put Crawford on bereavement list

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants scored 10 runs on the last road trip and three over the first two games against the Dodgers. They made a move Wednesday to try and address that issue. 

Michael Morse had his contract purchased from Triple-A Sacramento as part of a flurry of roster moves that included the call-up of Kelby Tomlinson. Brandon Crawford was put on the three-day bereavement list to attend the funeral services of his sister-in-law, Jennifer Pippin. Denard Span was placed on the disabled list with a right shoulder sprain and Jarrett Parker (shoulder) was transferred to the 60-day DL to clear a roster spot for Morse.

Morse, 35, came to camp with the Giants after a deal struck with Bobby Evans at Hunter Pence's wedding. It was his last shot at playing professional baseball, and as April approached, Morse had shown enough to be in position to make the opening day roster. A strained left hamstring ended those plans, but Morse stayed in Scottsdale to rehab before joining the San Jose Giants and River Cats. He was 5-for-20 in six rehab games but the reports given to team officials stated that he was having good at-bats. 

Morse was a popular presence during the 2014 title run, hitting 16 homers in the regular season and a huge one off Pat Neshek in the NLCS-clinching win over the Cardinals. The Giants could use his power bat in left, at first base, and off the bench. A struggling and banged-up team could also some personality added to the clubhouse, and Morse is always ready in that regard.

Tomlinson was optioned to Triple-A at the end of spring training. He was batting just .220 for Sacramento, but he gives the Giants a versatile glove with Crawford out.