Belt, 33, is one of many seemingly rejuvenated veterans who dot the Giants roster. Belt posted a career record 98 wRC + out of 616 plate appearances in 2019, but he’s been nothing short of spectacular on the flat since. After slashing a totally unsustainable .309 / .425 / .591 (172 wRC +) in 179 plate appearances last season, Belt continued to move in the right direction with a .253 / .363 / .512 line at through 201 trips to the box. Time will tell if this knee inflammation is a short term setback or something more serious.
Wade, a professional outfielder, can share first base duties with In its reputation while the belt is out. Offensively, the Giants believe Wade / Ruf can hold the line, but Belt’s defense is harder to replicate. Slusser provides this quote from the manager Gabe Kapler, “… As good as LaMonte and as good as Ruf is out there, Belt is like another level when it comes to footwork and puts himself in a good position to take care of the other infielders on the diamond. LaMonte will continue to improve there with more reps, but Brandon will be truly missed as a defenseman.
When looking for ways to improve as the trade deadline approaches, it’s only natural to consider the positional player side of the Giants’ roster given that three-quarters of their planned starting infield is currently in the lineup. list of wounded (Belt, Evan Longoria, Tommy La Stella). That said, Athletic’s Grant Brisbee writes that the rotation, in fact, could be the first place the Giants look to level up.
From Brisbee’s perspective, the rotation certainly didn’t look like a big force going into the season. Kevin Gausman looked like a front row starter, although his track record was not long enough to clear all doubts. Johnny cueto was a star, but hasn’t appeared as such since 2016. Alex Wood, Anthony DeSclafani, and Aaron Sanchez completed all five. This trio appeared to be a low ceiling / high floor group if they were healthy – although they had significant health issues. Logan Webb figured to be the main double, and although he’s younger and therefore full of promise, he entered the year with a 5.36 / 4.15 FIP ERA in 94 career innings.
As a group, they exceeded expectations: 3.14 ERA / 3.44 FIP, both ranking third overall, with the fifth most innings pitched at 401 2/3 and the sixth combined fWAR. with 7.3 fWAR. They induced balls on the ground at the third best rate among rotations and allowed fewer goals over nine innings than any team except the rival Dodgers.
Still, Sanchez can still be bothered by his blistering issues, by Slusser, and Webb walked out with an outstretched shoulder. Gausman was brilliant and DeSclafani a pleasant surprise, but there is certainly room to add the right guy if the Giants were to find him. Identifying this arm will take work. Max Scherzer has been a popular target for speculation, but latest reports suggest it will need an extension before agreeing to a deal. Also, when the Nats are within earshot – as they are now – they are generally not inclined to sell.
To speculate on other potential turnover targets, look no further than our list of top 40 trading targets. Jon Gray, Matthieu Boyd, Tyler Anderson, Kyle Gibson, Michael Pineda, Dylan Bundy, Andrew Heaney, José Urena, German Marquez, Spencer Turnbull, and John means are some of the best names that might be available in July.