Giants say no catcher needed, expect to use Brandon Belt off bench

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Runs?  Who needs ’em?  After all, the Giants are in first place now despite having the NL’s worst offense.

Speaking out prior to Friday’s game, Giants GM Brian Sabean said that he hasn’t made any inquiries about finding a replacement for Buster Posey and manager Bruce Bochy stated that the newly recalled Brandon Belt would be a bench player.

From the San Francisco Chronicle’s Hank Schulman comes word the Giants have heard from teams willing to part with a catcher.  However, Sabean said that he wants to give Eli Whiteside a chance to take over as a regular for now.  He hasn’t inquired about any possible replacements, such as Ivan Rodriguez or Ryan Doumit.

As for Belt, an obvious candidate to provide some sock out of the cleanup spot with Posey absent, Bochy said he’d see some time at first base and in the outfield, but that he’d mostly come off the bench and appear in games as a result of double-switches.

Belt hit .337/.470/.525 with four homers in 31 games after being demoted to Triple-A Fresno.  He was teeing off on right-handed pitching, batting .378/.515/.581.  It suggests that he’d make a great platoonmate for the right-handed-hitting Pat Burrell in left field.

The Giants, though, have been primarily going with a defense-first alignment and putting Nate Schierholtz in right field, with Cody Ross playing left.  It’s worked out OK, since Schierholtz has exceeded expectations by hitting .256/.309/.456.  Ross, though, is hitting just .215/.271/.337.  In all, Giants outfielders are hitting .254/.331/.391 with a mere 55 RBI in 561 at-bats.  That might make it worth sacrificing some defense to get Belt’s bat in there.

Report: Alex Cora to be named Red Sox manager after the ALCS

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Astros bench coach Alex Cora has been described as a leading candidate for multiple managerial openings since the end of the regular season. He has been tied most closely to the Red Sox job, however, having already interviewed with Boston and with several people reporting that he is the Sox’ top choice.

Now come two reports that the job will be given to Cora, possibly as early as this weekend.

The first report comes from NBC Boston’s Evan Drellich, who hears from his sources that “no doubt” it’s Cora, and that the Red Sox are just waiting for the ALCS to end in order to offer it to him. If the Astros are eliminated, it’d certainly happen as soon as Sunday or Monday. If the Astros advance it may be tricker, timing wise, to make a formal introduction since he’d be busy preparing for the World Series, but they could theoretically name him and introduce him later.

A second report came from the Twitter feed for LasMayores.com, MLB’s official Spanish language website. It said today (roughly translated) that “according to several sources [Cora] will be formally presented as manager of the Red Sox after the ALCS ends.” The twist on that: the tweet was deleted a few minutes ago, even though it remained up for several hours. I’d guess that’s likely more due to MLB not wanting any of its official organs to jump the gun than it is based on it being misinformation.

Either way, all signs are pointing to Cora, who played for the Red Sox from 2006-2008, being the next manager in Boston.