Bochy: We're trying to win, not get people ready


Bochy: We're trying to win, not get people ready

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.

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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.

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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.

Bochy updates status of Belt, Panik in concussion recoveries

Bochy updates status of Belt, Panik in concussion recoveries

The Giants' right side of the infield is currently on the shelf due to each dealing with a concussion. Joe Panik, who sustained his concussion more rently than Brandon Belt, is far ahead in a return date to the Giants. 

Panik ran sprints at AT&T Park on Sunday. He also took 50 swings between working off a tee and soft toss from a coach. The second baseman says if he feels well enough, he will take batting practice on the field Monday. 

"I’m not dealing with any balance issues," Panik said to the San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday. "I hope to pick up where I left off."

Panik has been out since Aug. 13. When trying to score a run on the road against the Nationals, a throw struck him near his temple while sliding into home plate. He still stayed in the game. 

Last season, Panik missed time with a concussion after being hit in the head by then-Rays pitcher Matt Moore.

Belt is in a different stage than Panik. He is limited to work in the gym and light cardio for now. 

"With Belt, the best way I can describe it is, he's doing OK," manager Bruce Bochy said before Sunday's game. "He's doing cardio up to the point he needs to stop. He's not at a stage where he can push it right now."

Belt now has four career concussions between college and the pros. After taking a pitch to the head against D'backs rookie Anthony Banda, Belt immediately went down and has been out since that game on Aug. 4. 

Bochy expects Panik back soon, but not before the Giants' homestand ends on Wednesday. Belt's retun to the field this season is still in question.

Giants lineup: Pence sits in series finale vs Phillies


Giants lineup: Pence sits in series finale vs Phillies

As the Giants look for a series win over the Phillies at home, Hunter Pence will be replaced by a rookie in right field.

Philadelphia Phillies (44-77)

1. Cesar Hernandez (S) 2B
2. Freddy Galvis (S) SS
3. Rhys Hoskins (R) 1B
4. Maikel Franco (R) 3B
5. Jorge Alfaro (R) C
6. Nick Williams (L) CF
7. Pedro Florimon (S) LF
8. Cameron Perkins (R) RF
9. Ben Lively (R) P

San Francisco Giants (50-75)

1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Kelby Tomlinson (R) 2B
3. Jarrett Parker (L) LF
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
6. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
7. Ryder Jones (L) 1B
8. Carlos Moncrief (L) RF
9. Madison Bumgarner (R) P