Giants

Brandon Belt is carrying competitive Giants in MLB The Show simulation

Brandon Belt is carrying competitive Giants in MLB The Show simulation

No Giant has lit up the talk radio phone lines more than Brandon Belt over the past decade, but in the PlayStation world, least, the Belt Wars appear to be over. 

NBC Sports Bay Area has been simulating the Giants season and it's actually going pretty well. Entering Friday's game against the White Sox, which aired at 7 p.m. with Kruk and Kuip providing the commentary, the Giants are 20-17. That's considerably better than the preseason projections, and a lot of it is because of Belt. 

Through 37 simulated games, Virtual Brandon Belt is hitting .364 with 12 homers. He ranks fourth in the league in average, home runs and total hits (47). While the real Belt is still looking for his first 20-homer season, it's not too out-of-character that he's off to such a hot start. Belt has hit his most homers in May, followed by April, and he has had some promising campaigns wrecked by midseason injuries. 

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Hopefully that's not the case in the PlayStation world -- and it's never a bad idea to accidentally restart the console when one of your key players gets hurt. You can watch Belt take on the White Sox tonight, along with some other virtual Giants who are off to hot starts.

Buster Posey and Wilmer Flores have five homers apiece and Mike Yastrzemski has six in a bid for a second 20-homer season. The game seems to be a believer that the Giants will hit for more power, as team executives have predicted in real life. Eight players are on pace to reach double-digits and four are on pace for 20 bombs. 

[RELATED: Panik recalls end of Giants career]

The pitching side is where it has gotten away from the Virtual Giants. While Jeff Samardzija has a 2.81 ERA and Kevin Gausman and Drew Smyly have pitched reasonably well, Johnny Cueto has a 6.60 ERA in eight starts. In the bullpen, most of the numbers are high, but Trevor Gott (1.61 ERA) and Jarlin Garcia (2.12) have been dominant. 

Gausman is the starter against the Virtual White Sox. He's 2-0 with a 4.38 ERA. 

Buster Posey misses third Giants workout for personal reasons, per Gabe Kapler

Buster Posey misses third Giants workout for personal reasons, per Gabe Kapler

The Giants went through their sixth day of work at Oracle Park on Thursday. For the third time, the longtime franchise star was not in the building. 

Buster Posey again missed the workout Thursday for personal reasons and "is still working through some things," per manager Gabe Kapler. 

"Buster is still working through a personal issue, and I want to respect his privacy," Kapler said. 

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Posey reported to camp Saturday and spoke with reporters, admitting he still had some reservations about playing this season during the coronavirus pandemic. The Poseys have two young children and he noted he would pay attention to how things looked at camp but also around society in general. 

During an appearance on KNBR's "Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks," president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said earlier Thursday that the Giants would respect any decision Posey makes. 

"I think he's continuing to evaluate things on a day-to-day basis and frankly I think there's a few guys in that boat, certainly guys with young families, and certainly Buster is in that boat," Zaidi said. "It's something else to think about. I don't want to get into other personal things that he may be thinking through. Ultimately we're going to respect the decisions that our players make."

Posey isn't the only player mysteriously missing from camp. Center fielder Billy Hamilton and left-handed reliever Jarlin Garcia were both expected to be on the Opening Day roster, but neither has been seen and both were placed on the 10-day Injured List. Kapler has said a couple of times that he cannot reveal more information about the two. 

"That's all I can share on that front," he said Thursday after confirming they were on the IL for medical purposes.

Teams are not allowed to reveal any information related to COVID-19 tests if players do not give permission, although it's not totally clear what the situation is with Hamilton and Garcia. In Posey's case, the initial tests came back negative, and he was a full participant in workouts over the weekend. 

[RELATED: Giants' list of prospects in camp has many intriguing names]

Like Zaidi, Kapler reiterated that the Giants will back any decision Posey makes, regardless of what that means for a team that currently doesn't have a clear favorite to even back up Posey. Rob Brantly and Tyler Heineman are fighting for that job

"Because of what we're up against right now, we're going to take a family-first approach to this," he said. "We will take it on as a responsibility to scramble as necessary but we don't want to rush these personal decisions and we want to respect and honor the stresses that people have that we may not be seeing."

Giants' tentative 2021 MLB schedule includes odd Opening Day quirk

Giants' tentative 2021 MLB schedule includes odd Opening Day quirk

Have you fully digested the 2020 MLB schedule that was released on Monday? Good, because here comes the 2021 schedule! 

MLB released full schedules for next season, and the Giants once again open on the road, but this time in unfamiliar territory. For the first time in club history, the Giants will begin the season in an interleague park with a series in Seattle starting April 1. The Giants play their home opener April 9 against the Rockies. Here's the full schedule:

This will be the 12th consecutive season that the Giants open on the road, something they generally ask for so that they can finish the season at home and have more dates at Oracle Park when kids are out of school over the summer. They will begin the 2020 season in Los Angeles in two weeks (maybe).

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

The 2020 season kept teams in their own region as much as possible, which means that the Giants will play the AL West two consecutive years. They were supposed to play the AL Central this season. The Giants will visit the Texas Rangers' new park next June and also have road series in Anaheim and Oakland, in addition to that opener in Seattle. The schedule includes the usual slate of trips to New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, etc., so MLB is at least planning for the likelihood that society and travel are a bit more back to normal next year. 

If fans are allowed back into Oracle Park, there are a few series that stand out. 

[RELATED: Everything to know about the MLB season restart, Giants]

Mike Trout and the Angels visit May 31, Madison Bumgarner's Diamondbacks come for the first time on June 14, and the Houston Astros visit July 31 if you have a lot of pent-up booing you would like to do at some point in 2021.