The Giants will be playing the St. Louis Cardinals for the next two days, which means we're going to be hearing a lot about Carlos Beltran. Remember him? The Giants acquired him for a highly touted prospect. He played a few few games, then sat out a few games with a hand injury, came back and killed the ball, and then curtailed his range in right field in proportion to the decline of the Giants' playoff chances.
Once the season was over, Giants fans argued over whether signing Beltran should be the front office's priority. I figured he'd dash off to the American League as a designated hitter. Instead, he signed with the Cardinals, which means for the next forty-eight hours, we're going to hear comparisons between Beltran and his ostensible replacement, Melky Cabrera. Beltran's slash line is .295/.407/.648 with 13 home runs, while Cabrera's posted a .333/.380/.487 line with two homers. I could add that Cabrera's hit nine doubles and four triples to Beltran's 2 doubles and 1 triple, but we're all looking at that one statistic, the home runs, because the Giants have had some trouble in that department.
The intensity of these discussions will probably depend on whether Beltran plays (he's had some knee trouble recently), and whether or not he crushes at the plate. If not, so to speak, we can always talk about how these two teams are the last two World Series champions.
Two more things...
Gregor Blanco, the official underdog player championed by the Left Field Line is currently batting .293/.408/.414. He has also been pretty consistent in contributing to those moments in the game (stealing bases, scoring runs, not committing one of the Giants' league-leading 41 errors) that I tend to remember positively. Not to mention that his first home run of the year was no joke.
Finally, Charlie Culberson made his major league debut a few days ago. I figured that he's up because the Giants needed another right handed hitter. But since there's more talk about Freddy Sanchez's injury setbacks, could Culberson also be up because the team needs to know what their options are if Sanchez can't/doesn't return?