"But you still always are going to pick the best team. You're going to pick the team with the most versatility that gives you the best chance to win each game and series. That's what it comes down to."
Sabean was adamant before spring training that Belt needed a season in Triple-A but said the 22-year-old has forced his way into the GM's thinking.
Hmmm, where to start ...
Look, Sabean apparently won't admit this, but it would be naive to believe contract considerations don't come into play here. Was there really anyone who thought the Giants were better without Buster Posey last April and May than they would have been with him? Posey's call-up in late May was pretty obviously done with his arbitration clock in mind.
Meanwhile, there was never any reason to believe Belt needed "a season" in Triple-A. Sure, maybe a few months. But we're talking about a 23-year-old (almost) hitter who zipped through three levels last season, raking all the while. Granted, it was his first professional season. But great hitters don't need full seasons in Triple-A. If Belt isn't ready right now, he will be soon.
Which doesn't mean he should play now. We're talking about millions of dollars. Potentially, anyway. And when you consider the defensive hit the Giants will take with Belt at first base and Aubrey Huff in the outfield, the difference in wins over the course of two months is not two and perhaps not even one.
Like it or not, the system is what it is. The Giants have a first baseman already, and three or four outfielders good enough to hold the fort until June. Send the kid back to Fresno, already.