Beltran making teammates better

Beltran making teammates better

Beltran making teammates better
SAN FRANCISCO -- As valuable as Carlos Beltran's presence in the middle of the lineup proved to be in Wednesday's 8-1 win over the D-backs, the Giants have seen their biggest Trade Deadline acquisition make an equally important impact in the clubhouse.

Beltran has instantly stepped into a leadership role with the Giants, providing guidance to several of his new teammates -- specifically Andres Torres and Pablo Sandoval -- in the batting cage, on the field and in the dugout.

"He's been great with the guys," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "I believe that hitters can get better because of one of your core hitters, and the way he approaches every at-bat and the quality at-bats that he gives you, I think it's going to help the other guys."

Beltran quickly identified a few problems Torres was having. First, he helped Torres coordinate his hands and told him to back away from the plate -- two problematic areas for someone who wields a 35-inch bat like Torres.

"He told me, 'You get too close,'" Torres said. "It's something I have to keep working on. Once I start doing it, it's going to start getting better."

Beltran also noticed Torres staring at home plate from center field, fretting over his offensive mistakes instead of focusing on his defensive responsibilities. So, he offered some simple advice: "Go out there and have fun." Torres recorded a hit and drew a walk Wednesday.

"He has a lot of energy. I love watching him play. I love watching him run the bases," Beltran said. "Hopefully he can start feeling better at the plate and contribute because we need a guy at the top of the lineup to get on base. And he could be the guy."

As for Sandoval, Beltran quickly picked up on the obvious: "He's a great hitter." But he worried the third baseman might be waiting for one specific pitch rather than relying on his natural ability, so he told him to swing away. Beltran's advice worked for Sandoval as well, as he went 2-for-5 with an RBI on Wednesday.

"When he gets hot, I think we're going to be good," Beltran said. "The simpler you can keep it, the better it's going to be. Sometimes as hitters, we get caught up into thinking in the batter's box."

Although he is still a new face in a tightly knit group with remarkable chemistry, Beltran is enjoying the responsibility of this new role and hopes to continue helping his teammates as the season progresses.

"I love it," Beltran said. "When I see talent and I feel that I can contribute and say something to make them better -- if he does well, he's helping the team. He's helping me. He's helping everyone. I want everyone to have success."