Giants first baseman Brandon Belt was hit in the hand with a pitch from Dodgers starter Paul Maholm leading off the top of the second inning on Friday night. Belt stayed in to run the bases, but did not take his position in the bottom half of the inning. Instead, Joaquin Arias took his spot at first base while Belt was attended to in the clubhouse.
Bad news for the Giants: CSN Bay Area’s Andrew Baggarly reports that Belt has a broken thumb and will “undoubtedly” go on the disabled list for the first time in his career. Baggarly adds that an easy short-term roster solution would involve Belt going on the DL and Matt Cain coming off of it, but the Giants will want to address their first base situation regardless, which could mean Travis Ishikawa could come up from Triple-A Fresno.
Belt entered the game as one of the Giants’ most productive hitters, slashing .264/.312/.504 with nine home runs and 18 RBI.
Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.
Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.
Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.