Here’s some big (but somewhat expected) news out of San Francisco…
According to Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News, the Giants have informed top prospect Brandon Belt that he will open the year as the club’s starting first baseman. Aubrey Huff is going to move out to right field for the time being and the situation will be reevaluated once Cody Ross returns from his right calf strain.
Belt, 22, was rated baseball’s 22nd most promising prospect by Baseball America this winter after slugging 23 home runs and tallying 112 RBI across 136 minor league games last season.
He hit .282/.338/.479 with three home runs and five doubles in 71 at-bats this spring.
Giants skipper Bruce Bochy told Andrew Baggarly, also of the Mercury News, that Belt teared up upon getting the good word and called it the “best day of my life, besides my wedding.”
This is not good: Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Rays pitcher Brent Honeywell cut short a bullpen session this morning and left the field with a trainer. Topkin says Honeywell was “clearly upset” as he made his way into the clubhouse and “cursed loudly a few times.”
Obviously you don’t want to assume the worst, but that’s often the behavior of a pitcher who experienced a serious injury. We will get updates later and will provide an update when we hear.
Honeywell, probably the Rays’ top prospect, is slated to make his major league debut early this season, though possibly not for a few weeks into the season due to off days. Eventually, though, it is assumed he’d slot in someplace behind Chris Archer, Matt Andriese, Nathan Eovaldi, Jake Faria, and Blake Snell, either as a young-David Price-style swingman, a spot starter or a regular starter at some point.
Last year Honeywell posted a 3.49 ERA and 172/35 K/BB ratio in 136. innings in 26 starts between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham.