Brandon Belt could be headed to the minors tomorrow

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According to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Giants manager Bruce Bochy confirmed a short while ago that Brandon Belt could be sent back to the minors if Cody Ross is activated from the disabled list tomorrow.

Ross is scheduled to play nine innings in a minor league rehab game with Triple-A Fresno tonight, so if all goes well, he’ll likely join the team in Colorado. Darren Ford is another candidate to be sent to the minor leagues, but Bochy dropped some pretty big hints that the young first baseman will be packing his bags.

“If it’s time to make that move, it wouldn’t be the worst thing,” Bochy said. “The kid is ahead of schedule. He only had one year in the minor-leagues without frankly having much success at the highest level. We’ve thrown a lot at him. But we haven’t made the decision yet.”

Belt, 22, is batting just .200/.310/.280 over his first 58 major league plate appearances and hasn’t driven in a run since April 3. It was quite an accomplishment for him to make the team out of spring training, but he’d be better served to get his confidence back at the Triple-A level. Meanwhile, Aubrey Huff can return to his best defensive position at first base while Ross can play right field or be another option in center until Andres Torres returns.

Alex Wood to try pitching out of the stretch

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Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.

Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.

Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.

In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”