Brandon Belt is back on the 7-day concussion disabled list due to recurring symptoms, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Belt was activated from the 7-day concussion DL last Saturday and made five starts at first base before taking off Thursday due to sickness.
The Giants have recalled Matt Duffy, who never left the team, to take Belt’s place on the roster, per Schulman. Michael Morse will make tonight’s start at first base.
Belt, 26, suffered a concussion after he was hit in the face during batting practice on July 19. Symptoms stemming from that incident have been bothering him ever since. He goes on the DL slashing .237/.296/.446 with 11 home runs and 24 RBI.
Announcement: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $35,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Friday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on Friday. Here’s the FanDuel link.
All spring training there was at least some mild confusion about Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. He played in almost no regular big league spring training games, instead, staying on the back fields, playing in simulated and minor league contests. When that usually happens, it’s because a player is rehabbing or even hiding an injury, but the Nats insisted that was not the case with Zimmerman. Not everyone believed it. I, for one, was skeptical.
The skepticism was unwarranted, as Zimmerman answered the bell for Opening Day and has played all season. As Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal writes today, it was all by design. He skipped spring training because he doesn’t like it and because he thinks it’ll help him avoid late-season injuries and slowdowns, the likes of which he has suffered over the years.
It’s hard to really judge this now, of course. On the one hand Zimmerman has started really slow this season. What’s more, he has started to show signs of warming up only in the past week, after getting almost as many big league, full-speed plate appearances under his belt as a normal spring training would’ve given him. On the other hand, April is his worst month across his entire 14-year career, so one slow April doesn’t really prove anything and, again, Zimmerman and the Nats will consider this a success if he’s healthy and productive in August and September.
It is sort of a missed opportunity, though. Players hate spring training. They really do. if Zimmerman had made a big deal out of skipping it and came out raking this month, I bet a lot more teams would be amenable to letting a veteran or three take it much more easy next spring. Good ideas can be good ideas even if they don’t produce immediately obvious results, but baseball tends to encourage a copycat culture only when someone can point to a stat line or to standings as justification.
Way to ruin it for everyone, Ryan. 😉