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.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.