PROGRAMMING NOTE: Giants-Pirates first pitch is at 1:30 on CSN Bay Area, followed by Giants Postgame Live!
SAN FRANCISCO There is no such thing as an official benching, but after four games on the pine, its safe to say Brandon Belt is no longer the Giants starting first baseman.
It took just three strikeout-stuffed games in Arizona for Bochy to turn away from Belt, who is not in the lineup for Fridays home opener at AT&T Park. And the manager was grilled something fierce about it.
RELATED: Giants' Opening Day lineup: Belt benched?
Im trying to put the team out there that has the best chance to win now, said Bochy, who has Nate Schierholtz in right field and Aubrey Huff at first base. We lost the first three (in Arizona). Were trying to get on track. Nate had good at-bats in Colorado.
Pressed further on Belt, Bochy made it clear he is not interested in developing players who arent ready.
Youve seen different lineups and weve put runs on the board, said Bochy, whose offense is averaging an NL-best 5.5 runs per game. Were doing what we want to do. Were going with the bats that are hot. Youll see us get settled into a regular lineup here. But were going with the guys who look comfortable now.
BAGGARLY: Giants-Pirates: What to watch for
Those comfortable names can change from week to week, Bochy said. Thats the nature of the game. Belt (1 for 11, five strikeouts) is not one of them and Bochy isnt willing to ride it out.
Were trying to win ballgames, Bochy said. Thats our only priority. Its not to get anybody ready.
He continued: Sometimes players dictate when they play.
The Giants continue to believe that Belt is best served to be in the big leagues, where he can work with the coaching staff to make changes in his stance and swing mechanics. Coaches believe he must move back in the box and stand more upright in order to drive fastballs middle-in.
Belt has been resistant to some degree, although his general attitude has not drawn any complaints. Perhaps Bochy believes that benching him will be an impetus to more fully embrace what the coaches want him to do.
In other pregame news, Bochy said Brian Wilson is physically fine but he wont use him for a third consecutive day. That is not unusual, and not only because Wilson threw more than 50 pitches over the previous two games. In the season-opening series at Arizona, the Diamondbacks didnt use closer J.J. Putz for a third consecutive save situation.