Seeking to upgrade a wheezing offense and hold off the Diamondbacks in the NL West standings, the Giants acquired Carlos Beltran from the Mets in late July. San Francisco paid a dear price for the switch-hitter's services, parting with top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler, but Beltran's impact bat figured to boost the Giants' chances of another playoff payday.
A little more than a month later, San Francisco now sits six games back of the D-Backs. And while Beltran batted .289 with a .391 OBP and a .513 slugging percentage in Queens, he has fallen victim to the Giants' team wide, Captain Trips-like offensive malaise. In 80 plate appearances, he's hitting just .260/.288/.377.
With 25 games left on the schedule, the Giants face a large, though not insurmountable deficit in the standings -- Baseball Prospectus' Playoff Odds give the club less than a one-in-five chance of clinching a playoff spot. If San Francisco is to have any chance of catching Arizona, they'll need Beltran to re-discover the plate patience that he seemingly left on the East Coast.
Beltran has drawn just three walks with the Giants. That's 3.8 percent of his plate appearances, compared to a 14.3 percent walk rate while with the Mets. Nearly three-quarters of his PA with his new team have come from the left side of the plate, and he's chasing lots of pitches thrown high out of the zone:
As a right-handed hitter, he's going after pitches thrown inside:
Overall, Beltran has chased 38 percent of pitches thrown out of the zone since his trade to San Francisco. To put that in perspective, that chase rate is in Yuniesky Betancourt/Alex Gonzalez territory and is a full 10 percentage points above the league average. Who knows, maybe Beltran started taking swing tips from Miguel Tejada and Aaron Rowand.