The Giants decided to hold off on activating Cody Ross on Tuesday, but they’ll make the move Wednesday and the writing appears to be on the wall for Brandon Belt.
Belt was excluded from the Giants lineup for a second straight day Tuesday, as the team is again using Aubrey Huff at first base. Nate Schierholtz is playing right field, but he’s merely keeping the seat warm for Ross, who has been on the DL Since the start of the season with a calf strain.
Belt drove in three runs in his second major league game back on April 1, but he’s without an RBI the last two weeks and he’s hitting .196/.305/.275 overall. Plus, the Giants have suffered defensively while using Huff in the outfield and Belt at first base.
It’s not a total loss, though. Belt figures to play the outfield pretty regularly in Triple-A, and he’ll be in line for a long look in left field if Pat Burrell goes into one of his patented lengthy slumps.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.