Giants place Andres Torres on the disabled list, call up Brandon Belt

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UPDATE: Well, the Giants have officially recalled Brandon Belt from Triple-A Fresno, but it’s not for the reason we thought.

While it looked like Belt would replace Carlos Beltran on the active roster, the Giants have placed Andres Torres on the disabled list with a contusion to his lower right leg. Torres suffered the injury when he fouled a ball off his leg during last night’s game.

2:00 PM: According to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Brandon Belt is currently en route to Miami from Triple-A Fresno.

His activation isn’t 100 percent certain, but this is a strong indication that the Giants are leaning toward placing Carlos Beltran on the disabled list. Beltran hasn’t played since Sunday due to a strained right wrist/hand and was still experiencing pain swinging the bat yesterday.

Nate Schierholtz was held out of the starting lineup for the past two days with a right hip flexor injury, but that he was able to pinch-hit last night indicates that he should be healthy enough to return to the lineup relatively soon.

Belt, 23, is batting .218/.322/.333 with two home runs, seven RBI and a .656 OPS over 90 plate appearances with the Giants this season. It’s worth nothing that he played right field last night for Triple-A Fresno.

Minor League Baseball had its worst attendance in 14 years

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Baseball American reports today that total attendance at minor league baseball games reached a 14-year low in 2018. Total attendance was 40,450,337. That’s a drop of 1,382,027 fans compared to last season.

Around a third of that drop is attributable to fewer scheduled games but, as Baseball America notes, even when you go to average attendance per game, there was a sharp drop off this season. BA suggests that this represents a leveling off after over a decade’s worth of large increases in minor league attendance. Which sound pretty plausible. Overall, attendance numbers are still massively above where they were 15-20 years ago, so this seems more like a correction than a real problem. The BA article goes into some good analysis of the decline.

All of that said, revenues are up for the minors, in large part because of merchandise sales and because minor league ballparks have a lot more amenities and better concessions than they used to have and fans are willing to pay for them.