Even without Aubrey Huff, San Francisco Giants situation at first base is aggravating

There’s good news on Aubrey Huff — he hurt his knee again

OK, that may seem a bit harsh. But as it pertains to Giants fans, it’s the truth.

Aubrey Huff has been out since June 10 with a sprained knee sustained when he very ungracefully failed to leap out of the dugout to celebrate Matt Cain’s perfect game.

He was apparently set to be activated when the Giants return home from their East Coast road trip on Monday.

But those plans are on hold for now. Huff returned to San Francisco Friday to have an MRI on his knee after pulling himself out of a game with the Fresno Grizzlies because of knee pain.

With the Grizzlies set to open a weekend series in Salt Lake City, Huff was supposed to join the San Jose Giants for the weekend before being activated Monday. Manager Bruce Bochy viewed Huff was a potential alternate to the struggling Brandon Belt at first base.

But we’re not sure Huff would have had much of anything to offer.

Huff opened his 20-day minor-league rehab stint on July 4 with the Class A San Jose Giants. He went 4 for 16 (.250) with one home run, three RBI, a double, four strikeouts and three walks in five games with San Jose. Not exactly stellar numbers against Class A competition.

On Monday, he joined the Grizzlies. In four games at Triple-A, he went 2 for 13. Both hits were singles on soft loopers to center.

His 11 outs were recorded in this fashion:

  • One strikeout
  • Two groundouts to shortstop
  • One groundout to first base
  • Seven groundouts to second base

He drove in one run — on a groundout to second on Thursday — and he capped his stint with Fresno with his lone walk, before pulling himself out of the game in the third inning.

If Huff is doing THAT at Triple-A, I don’t know how the Giants think he’ll doing anything that would be an improvement on the .155 average he was hitting in 32 games with them this season.

I would rather see Belt, mired in his 3-for-30 slump, take his hacks as the Giants first baseman than Huff. With Belt, there’s at least a CHANCE he can turn things around.

But the Giants are clearly getting frustrated with Belt, as he becomes more frustrated with himself. So they must consider options, and they are not good:

  • Start Buster Posey at first base with Eli Whiteside catching. They did this Friday against the Phillies, and may do it again with the lefty Cole Hamels pitching Saturday.
  • They could start Joaquin Arias at third and Pablo Sandoval at first. Sandoval saw his first action at first base the other day in Atlanta. They could do this Saturday, but Arias has been getting starts at shortstop against lefties. But with Brandon Crawford swinging a hot bet, why not leave him in there.
  • There’s always Brett Pill at Fresno. Pill is hitting . .283 with 4 HR and 27 RBI in 35 games at Fresno. Not bad, but over the past 10 games, Pill is hitting .195.
  • They could give Conor Gillaspie another shot at third base, playing the Panda at first. Gillaspie is hitting .306 with 9 HR and 35 RBI for Fresno. But like Pill, Gillaspie is hitting .195 over his past 10 games.
  • They can look to the trade market for help. But there doesn’t seem to be a lot enticing options out there.

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