9/1/2013 4:11 P.M. ET
Belt's big August eclipsed by McCutchen
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- Giants first baseman Brandon Belt recorded impressive statistics in August, including a .350 batting average and a National League-leading 23 runs scored.
That might not be enough to garner Belt enough votes to win the league's Player of the Month distinction, however.
A leading candidate for that honor is Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen, who compiled a .384 batting average, an NL-best .483 on-base percentage and a .535 slugging percentage.
Belt did collect 15 extra-base hits during August, tied for third in the league, to McCutchen's nine. Belt also posted a .630 slugging percentage, exceeding McCutchen's figure.
Returning faces likely to highlight Giants' callups
PHOENIX -- At least a couple of players among the Giants' anticipated contingent of September callups will be making their Major League debuts, though most of the group already has seen action with San Francisco.
Right-hander Heath Hembree is expected to be one of the fresh faces the Giants will summon Tuesday, one day after Triple-A Fresno's season concludes. Formerly regarded as the Giants' closer of the future, Hembree entered Sunday with a 1-4 record, a 4.07 ERA, 31 saves and 63 strikeouts in 55 1/3 innings for the Grizzlies. Hembree probably will pitch mostly in a setup role with the Giants.
Others likely to provide bullpen depth include right-handers Jake Dunning and George Kontos. Dunning recorded a 2.84 ERA in 20 games earlier this season with the Giants, while Kontos was 2-2 with a 5.05 ERA in 42 outings with San Francisco.
Position-player possibilities include infielder Nick Noonan and outfielders Francisco Peguero and Juan Perez. It has been speculated that rangy shortstop Ehire Adrianza will receive his first taste of the Major Leagues. A veteran of eight seasons in the Giants' farm system despite being only 24, Adrianza has divided his season between Double-A Richmond and Fresno. He actually has hit for a better average at the higher classification, batting .309 at Fresno and .240 at Richmond.
Manager Bruce Bochy said that he's "leaning" toward adding a catcher to give the Giants a three-man crew of backstops, which would enable them to use switch-batting Hector Sanchez as a pinch-hitter when he's not playing. The most intriguing possibility is Johnny Monell, who has amassed a career-high 20 home runs while hitting .277 in 119 games this season for Fresno. However, the Giants would have to clear a 40-man roster spot to accommodate Monell.
Pagan gets rest after impressive return
PHOENIX -- Angel Pagan was out of the starting lineup for the Giants' series finale Sunday against the Arizona Diamondbacks, but nothing was physically wrong with the center fielder and leadoff hitter.
Manager Bruce Bochy stuck to his plan to rest Pagan, who's fresh off recovering from left hamstring surgery, every few days.
Overall, Bochy has been impressed with Pagan's performance, particularly given the arduous rehabilitation he endured. In two games since leaving the disabled list, Pagan's 2-for-7 with a double, a stolen base, two walks and two runs scored.
"It's pretty impressive, [given] the extent of the injury, how well he's doing," Bochy said.
Bochy attributed Pagan's condition to the punishing workouts he endures.
"He gets after it," Bochy said. "He's probably in as good of shape as anybody on this club."
Pagan praised Tony Reale, the Giants' organizational physical therapist, for helping him maintain a diligent regimen at the Giants' training complex in nearby Scottsdale.
"We weren't just rehabbing a little bit," Pagan said. "We were going at it."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.