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Brandon Belt left Friday’s game to undergo an emergency appendectomy

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UPDATE, 4:41 PM ET: The Giants placed Belt on the 10-day disabled list on Saturday. In a corresponding move, they reinstated second baseman Alen Hanson from the disabled list, where he was rehabbing a left hamstring strain.

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Giants first baseman Brandon Belt made it through just two innings of Friday’s series opener against the Phillies. After his first at-bat — a swinging strikeout against Philadelphia’s Nick Pivetta — the infielder appeared to be in serious pain and was quickly removed from the game and sent to a local hospital to be evaluated and treated for appendicitis.

The Giants confirmed the emergency appendectomy on Saturday and are expected to place Belt on the 10-day disabled list sometime this weekend. Belt tweeted out a photo from the hospital following the procedure; while it looks like he’s on the road to recovery, a definite timetable for his return to the team has yet to be established.

Pablo Sandoval stepped in for the ailing first baseman on Friday and could split time there with Buster Posey until Belt’s return. Per Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Belt isn’t the first Giants player to undergo an appendectomy in recent years. Former MLB outfielder Andres Torres underwent the same procedure back in 2010 and needed just under two weeks to make a full recovery, though time will tell if Belt can recover as speedily following his surgery.

Prior to the incident, the 30-year-old infielder was among the team’s top producers at the plate, boasting a .307/.403/.547 batting line, 11 home runs and a .950 OPS through 226 plate appearances. This is his first major health scare of the season; he’s been injury-free since last August, when he was struck in the head by a pitch and missed nearly two months on the disabled list.

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.