Brandon Belt on track to be activated Friday

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Giants skipper Bruce Bochy told beat writer Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com on Wednesday that first baseman Brandon Belt is on track to be activated from the disabled list for Friday night’s series opener against the Padres at Petco Park.

Belt has been out since May 10 with a fractured left thumb. He is 11-for-21 (.524) with three home runs so far on his rehab assignment and was sporting an .820 OPS (133 OPS+) with nine home runs and 18 RBI in 35 games before suffering the thumb injury.

The 26-year-old should provide a nice boost for the Giants, who have watched their lead in the National League West disintegrate over the past several weeks. The Dodgers are currently one game back.

Jon Gray will start Opening Day for the Rockies

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Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.

Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.

The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.

Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.

Blake Treinen named Nationals closer

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Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.

There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.

Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.