UPDATE: Well, the Giants have officially recalled Brandon Belt from Triple-A Fresno, but it’s not for the reason we thought.
While it looked like Belt would replace Carlos Beltran on the active roster, the Giants have placed Andres Torres on the disabled list with a contusion to his lower right leg. Torres suffered the injury when he fouled a ball off his leg during last night’s game.
2:00 PM: According to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Brandon Belt is currently en route to Miami from Triple-A Fresno.
His activation isn’t 100 percent certain, but this is a strong indication that the Giants are leaning toward placing Carlos Beltran on the disabled list. Beltran hasn’t played since Sunday due to a strained right wrist/hand and was still experiencing pain swinging the bat yesterday.
Nate Schierholtz was held out of the starting lineup for the past two days with a right hip flexor injury, but that he was able to pinch-hit last night indicates that he should be healthy enough to return to the lineup relatively soon.
Belt, 23, is batting .218/.322/.333 with two home runs, seven RBI and a .656 OPS over 90 plate appearances with the Giants this season. It’s worth nothing that he played right field last night for Triple-A Fresno.
Kurt Suzuki will wear a Braves’ uniform through the 2018 season after signing a one-year, $3.5 million extension with the club on Saturday, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal adds that the two had been in talks for weeks and Suzuki made it clear that he wanted to remain in Atlanta for the foreseeable future. The team has yet to announce the extension.
Suzuki, 33, initially signed a one-year contract with the Braves back in January. The veteran backstop stepped into a backup role behind starting catcher Tyler Flowers, but still found a way to impress at the plate with a .271/.343/.525 batting line, career-best 18 home runs and an .868 OPS through 287 PA. According to FanGraphs, Suzuki’s 2.2 fWAR makes 2017 his most valuable season since his run with the 2009 Athletics.
It’s a prudent move for the Braves, who would have lost one of their most dynamic second-half hitters to the free agent market this offseason. Entering Saturday, Suzuki is second only to Freddie Freeman with 11 homers and 1.4 fWAR since the All-Star break. His stunning comeback also confirmed the team’s decision to look outside the organization for a backup catcher, rather than turning to fellow veteran Anthony Recker behind the plate.
“On a personal level, this season exceeded my expectations,” Suzuki told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s just one of those things I can’t explain. I put a lot of work in and really didn’t have a job until late January. I got an opportunity here and took advantage of it. It was definitely a good fit.”
Tigers’ outfielder Mikie Mahtook is unlikely to play again this season, club manager Brad Ausmus announced Saturday. Mahtook was diagnosed with a Grade 2 left groin strain following Friday’s series opener against the Twins, when he appeared to injure himself after chasing down Byron Buxton‘s two-RBI double in the fourth.
This is the second time Mahtook has sustained a groin injury over the past month. The 27-year-old exited Friday’s game with a .276/.330/.457 batting line, 12 home runs and a .787 OPS through 379 plate appearances with the team.
With the Tigers out of contention, there’s no reason to trot out Mahtook for the remaining eight games of the regular season. The club has yet to specify a timetable for his return, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t be in fine shape to compete for a starting role next spring.