Belt (neck) is in Sunday's lineup against Atlanta, Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News Group reports. Fortunately, Belt's neck stiffness wasn't anything too serious, as he's back in action Sunday. He'll hit fifth as the Giants take on the struggling Aaron Blair and the Braves.
Belt has been scratched from Saturday's lineup with neck stiffness. Conor Gillaspie will replace Belt both at first base and in the five-hole in the batting order. The extent this issue is uncertain but Belt should be considered merely day-to-day until more information becomes available.
Belt went 2-for-4 with a double, a pair of RBI and a run scored in Friday's win over Atlanta. Belt was moved up to fifth in the order after being demoted from third to seventh for the past two games. Manager Bruce Bochy likely moved him out of the three-hole in an effort to take pressure off his struggling first baseman. It appears to have paid off in the short-term with Belt collecting three RBI in the three games since the lineup shift. Interestingly enough, he has posted his lowest batting average (.245) and slugging percentage (.453) while batting third this season (201 at-bats), as opposed to batting fourth, fifth or sixth where those totals are nearly 50 points higher (229 combined at-bats). It may be that Belt is pressing too hard when he is in a more prominent spot in the lineup, or it simply may be coincidence. Whatever the case, this is one of the rare instances where a fantasy owner may actually be glad his batter has been moved lower in the order.
Belt was dropped to seventh in the batting order Wednesday, going 0-for-3 with a walk in a loss to the Dodgers. Belt has cooled off at the plate in the second half of August (.231, no homers and two RBI over last 10 games) after hitting three homers through the first 10 games of the month. Manager Bruce Bochy may have moved him down the order in an effort to take the pressure off of his slugging first baseman, or it may have simply been a matchup play with a left-hander on the mound. Either way, Belt is one of several Giants whose cold bats have resulted in a 2-8 record over the club's last 10 games. Thursday's series-finale against the Dodgers will feature right-hander Ross Stripling, so we will see if Belt's lineup movement was temporary or not.
Belt went 1-for-5 with a two-run homer in Saturday's 6-2 win over Baltimore. This wasn't your typical Belt stat line, as he is usually very patient and passive at the plate. He may have been trying to spark a struggling Giants lineup, which would explain the three strikeouts. Whatever the case, owners will definitely trade in his great discipline for home runs. Belt has shown increased pop in the month of August (three homers) after posting just one in the month of July.
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