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.
Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.
Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.
The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.