On Carlos Beltran’s Debut With the Giants

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Carlos Beltran’s didn’t really impress on his debut with the San Francisco Giants. He didn’t need to. Despite going 0-4, striking out twice, the Giants had enough solid pitching from Tim Lincecum and a home run from Pablo Sandoval to give them a 4-1 win, keeping a safe distance from the Diamondbacks.

But it was Beltran, despite his unimpressive opener, that drew most of the attention. The Giants have one of the worst offense units in the National League, and Beltran, despite being 34 with over 13 years of Major League experience behind, is supposed to be a major boost. He hit 15 home runs for the Mets in 98 games, driving in 66 runs. Pablo Sandoval was the first Giant to reach double figuers in home runs yesterday. Aubrey Huff is the team leader in RBIs with 47, but his batting average (.239) and OBP (.296) are far from impressive.

Beltran, a three time Gold Glove Winner (2006-2008) did show his defense skills, including one nice catch off of a Rollins shallow fly in the fifth, giving his manager a bit of a scare. That is the way Beltran plays. That’s why he gets injured quite often.

Beltran wasn’t exactly welcomed by the Phillies crowd, booing quite fiercely as the former Mets player was at bat. Maybe it got to him a little. But the Giants are getting to the Phillies as well, taking two of three in this series and still making it look like their win in the 2010 playoffs over Philadelphia is lingering on with quite a few players.

There’s something special about Beltran. There’s something about players with great potential that haven’t quite lived up to it. It shines, lights out during certain moments but never consistently. It makes their presence, every at bat and opportunity to watch them more intriguing than guys who consistently get the hits but seldom the big play. Beltran, if healthy, can really light up things in the bay area from the World Series champions. The Giants can’t rely on pitching alone to take them all the way again.