Giants first baseman Brandon Belt was placed on the disabled list on Saturday morning with a broken left thumb that he suffered Friday night when he was struck by a Paul Maholm pitch. After a visit with hand specialist Dr. Tim McAdams, the situation is looking even grimmer. From beat reporter Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com …
Giants first baseman Brandon Belt will undergo surgery on Tuesday to insert two pins in his fractured left thumb, but the club still believes he can be ready to return in six weeks.
Dr. Tim McAdams will perform the procedure to stabilize multiple fractures in his proximal phalanx.
The pins won’t be removed for four weeks, which makes that six-week full-recovery timetable seem overly optimistic. Belt is going to have to ease back into hitting drills once the pins are out and will then have to go on a minor league rehab assignment to get his timing right. Baggarly writes Sunday that it’s “hard to envision him playing many games before the All-Star break, if at all.”
Belt, 26, had an .820 OPS (135 OPS+) with nine home runs and 18 RBI in 35 games this season.
Mike Morse is going to serve as the Giants’ primary first baseman through at least mid-June.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.
Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.
Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.