MRI comes back clean on Mike Trout’s sore back

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Angels superstar center fielder Mike Trout was removed from Tuesday’s game against the Astros due to lingering stiffness in the middle of his back and he is not in Anaheim’s starting lineup on Wednesday night. But the situation is looking up.

MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez reports that Trout underwent an MRI on Wednesday which showed only inflammation and no structural damage. “It’s definitely good news,” Trout told Gonzalez. “I’ll see how I feel tomorrow. Maybe I’ll go tomorrow.”

Josh Hamilton will start in center field Wednesday in his second game back from the disabled list.

Trout is batting .293/.379/.546 with 11 homers, 38 RBI, and five steals in 54 games this year.

Giants making Brandon Belt available

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Giants have made first baseman Brandon Belt available in a trade and says that several teams have expressed interest in him.

Which is kind of weird, really.

Belt turns 31 early next season. He hit .253/.342/.414 with 14 homers over 112 games last year due to a knee injury and time lost to an appendectomy. He has a history of concussions and has averaged only 115 games over the last five seasons. Oh, and makes $48 million over the next three years.

Yes, he could be a very useful player if healthy, but taking on that kind of money, even a part of that money, when many very affordable first base/DH options are out there on the market makes little sense to me. Matt Adams. Justin Bour. Lucas Duda. As good as Belt? No, I don’t think so. But way cheaper and requiring less of a commitment.

But hey, rumors are rumors. Let a thousand flowers bloom.