by Dr Lefty
I should have known better.
After last night’s satisfying Giants win, I wrote this:
Not five minutes later, this news was coming across Twitter.
Not good. Belt being evaluated at hospital for appendicitis. If that’s what it is, he’s DL-bound. #sfgiants
— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) June 2, 2018
Well, it was a nice two innings while it lasted. The April version of Chris Stratton reappeared (missed ya, buddy!), and Joe Panik reappeared for the first time since April (really, really missed ya, buddy!), leading to an early 2-0 lead. Then in the third inning, Brandon Belt was removed from the game with no apparent injury, leading to a few minutes of speculation (the HBP in Denver? Baby coming?) and then the news that he had “stomach discomfort.” Phewwwwww….just a bad burrito for lunch! Give him the day on Saturday and see you Sun–ohhhhh, crap.
So here’s what we know: Per a couple of the beat writers, Belt was “rushed” to a local hospital to be “evaluated for appendicitis.” This photo Belt (or likely, Mrs. Belt) tweeted suggests he was going into surgery about three hours ago, so appendicitis sounds like a pretty good guess. We’ll have to wait to hear whether his appendix was ruptured (more serious/longer recovery) or simply removed. Remember hearing this news in early September 2010?
Tough blow to #SFGiants: CF Andres Torres having appendix removed now, out 10 days to 2 weeks at least. Rowand in CF today
— Scott Miller (@ScottMillerBbl) September 12, 2010
Losing Torres, who’d been an inspirational sparkplug (so much so that he won the Willie Mac Award that season) right in the middle of a down-to-the-wire NL West battle was a major blow, but Torres was back in less than two weeks.
Andres Torres back in center after having appendix removed less than 2 weeks ago. Gamer. #sfgiants
— FYMYAWF (@FYMYAWF) September 25, 2010
Even if it turns out to be the less serious removal-not-rupture outcome, it is unlikely we’ll see Belt back that quickly. For one thing, Torres was known to be in phenomenal shape.
No disrespect to Belt, who I’m sure does his work, but–yeah. He’s not throwing bricks. Second, hindsight showed that Torres probably rushed back a week or so too soon–he struggled at the plate for awhile to the point that he got benched for a game or two in the early rounds of the postseason. We don’t need anyone being a hero (see Samardzija, Jeff). Third, it’s June 2, not September 12. Even though Belt’s been not only the Giants’ best hitter but also one of the best hitters in the National League, they can manage without him for a few weeks when they’re still nearly a month even from the halfway point of the season.
So we’ll hope the news on Belt is good and wait to hear his timeline. Meanwhile…
The Giants had one of their best wins of the season
This was the team we hoped to see: a starter putting up zeros (it was National Doughnut Day, after all), some gritty ABs and timely hitting (except for that slacker Belt striking out with two on and one out in the first–what’s his problem, anyway?), a fantastic catch in the outfield (yes! THE OUTFIELD) by Gorkys Hernandez and some fantastic relief pitching, especially by an absolutely filthy Sam Dyson. Not to be mean, but it was even fun to see someone else’s outfielders screwing up for once.
Roster moves and more to come
A lot happened yesterday even before the Belt news. To recap, and stay with me:
- Joe Panik was activated and Kelby Tomlinson was optioned, leading to the hard-to-picture scenario of Pablo Sandoval, backup…shortstop?? Yep, for real.
- Jose Valdez (if you’re asking “Who?” right now, I feel ya) was activated from the DL and DFA’d.
- Mark Melancon was reinstated to the 40-man roster from the 60-day DL and added to the 25-man roster (to the spot vacated by Tyler Beede after the last game in Denver). When Hunter Strickland got into quick trouble in the ninth inning last night, I wondered…but, nah. There was no one circling the bullpen mound except the hungry seagulls.
- The pitchers, Gorkys Hernandez, and Gregor Blanco all took extra bunting practice before the game. Not among them: Austin Jackson, whose inability to get a bunt down in a key spot contributed to the Giants’ loss in Denver on Memorial Day. Is that a harbinger for what might happen when…
- Hunter Pence is expected to be activated today from the DL, and Bochy has already clarified that he’ll be the fourth outfielder, not displace Mac Williamson as the starting left fielder.
- Still pending: the return of Alen Hanson, who’s been playing in San Jose, which is remarkably convenient to AT & T Park, and of Madison Bumgarner to make his season debut on Tuesday (and will require both 40-man and 25-man roster moves).
- And now, a roster move to replace Belt, who is most certainly going on the DL. Assuming that a combination of Pablo and Buster will cover first base in Belt’s absence, that leaves several options for his roster spot: (a) recall Kelby Tomlinson, who only got as far as San Jose (because the River Cats are in El Paso); (b) activate Alen Hanson from the DL if they think he’s ready; (c) a combination of (a) and (b): recall Kelby for a few days and then option him again when Hanson is ready; or (d) recall Ryder Jones from AAA Sacramento (Jones has been hot at the plate and can play first). My guess is (c), if (b) is not possible yet.
- Oh, and Dereck Rodriguez was named as the starter for Sunday, with Ty Blach moving to the bullpen. One can imagine that a certain proud Hall of Famer dad will be in the house.
Phillies at Giants, 7:05 p.m., AT & T Park
Vince Velasquez (4-5, 4.08 ERA) vs. Andrew Suarez (1-4, 5.65 ERA).
One of these two young guys (Suarez or Rodriguez) is likely going back to AAA when Bumgarner returns, so the next two games will be interesting to watch. Or it’s even possible that Blach’s the one demoted if both of them do well.
See you during the game. Lefty out.