Brandon Belt returns to Giants’ starting lineup Sunday after battling mild right groin strain

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Brandon Belt has been held out of the Giants’ starting lineup since suffering a mild right groin strain last Tuesday in Arizona, but he was available to pinch hit Saturday night in San Diego and Alex Pavolvic of CSNBayArea.com notes that he is starting at first base in Sunday’s series finale against the Padres.

Belt suffered the mild groin strain while chasing after a foul pop-up. He appeared in just 61 games last season due to a fractured thumb and concussions.

San Francisco badly needs better durability from the 26-year-old first baseman in 2015. He’s been a very effective player when healthy, boasting a .789 OPS (124 OPS+) in 421 career major league games.

Rockies, Trevor Story agree on two-year, $27.5 million contract

Trevor Story
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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.

Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.

This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.

With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.