Brandon Belt expected to miss six weeks with broken thumb

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Brandon Belt suffered a broken left thumb when he was hit in the hand by a pitch from Dodgers left-hander Paul Maholm last night and it looks like the Giants will have to get by without him until late June.

According to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com, Giants manager Bruce Bochy estimated after last night’s game that Belt will likely miss around six weeks. However, there should be more clarity on a timetable after he is examined today by hand specialist Dr. Tim McAdams.

As for what the Giants will do at first base in the meantime, Bochy mentioned the possibility of a rotation featuring Buster Posey, Michael Morse and Hector Sanchez. Travis Ishikawa, currently on the Triple-A disabled list with a jammed finger, Adam Duvall, and Tyler Colvin are among the alternatives in the minors.

Belt, 26, is batting .264/.317/.504 with nine home runs and 18 RBI in 35 games this season.

Report: Phillies interested in Manny Machado; Orioles have done homework on Phillies’ minor league system

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Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will become a free agent after the 2018 season and there hasn’t been much in the way of progress on a contract extension between the two sides. It seems as if Machado will test the open market next offseason.

The Phillies, currently with relatively minuscule obligations for the 2018 season and beyond, are expected to be big players for Machado, as well as other potential free agents like Bryce Harper. In fact, the Phillies may not even want to wait until next offseason, as Roch Kubatko of MASN reports that the club has expressed interest in Machado to the Orioles. In return, the O’s have been doing their homework on the Phillies’ minor league system.

Kubatko notes that the Orioles like, in particular, Phillies prospects Sixto Sanchez and Scott Kingery. The Phillies may be hesitant to part with either considering they can get Machado for a lot of cash but no prospects next winter. MLB Pipeline rates Sanchez as the Phillies’ best pitching prospect and the second-best prospect overall in the system. Kingery is third overall and the top infielder. While the Phillies’ system is among the best in baseball, its notable weakness is pitching, so parting with Sanchez — who throws in the upper 90’s and can hit triple digits — would be a big ask. Kingery is seen as the club’s next second baseman of the future, so much so that the Phillies are shopping Cesar Hernandez at the Winter Meetings.

As usual with rumors during the Winter Meetings, there may be some smoke but no actual fire here. The Orioles are likely to get continued interest in Machado from many teams between now and the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. They are simply doing their due diligence by seeing what the Phillies and others have to offer for Machado.