The Giants activated first baseman Brandon Belt from the 10-day disabled list, per a team announcement on Saturday. Belt was sidelined for just over two weeks after undergoing an emergency appendectomy on June 1. It’s still uncertain how much Belt will be able to take on right away; during his rehab, the infielder was limited to just five at-bats in an extended spring training game.
Prior to landing on the DL, Belt posted career numbers in the first two months of the 2018 season, slashing a robust .307/.403/.547 with 11 home runs, a .950 OPS and 2.5 fWAR in 226 plate appearances. Those are the kind of numbers that could give the Giants — currently a 34-36 team and fourth in the NL West — a much-needed boost as the first half of the season wraps up next month.
With Belt back on the roster, the Giants optioned rookie right-hander Pierce Johnson to Triple-A Sacramento. Johnson failed to impress during his brief tryout with the club this year after racking up a 5.46 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 5.7 SO/9 over 31 1/3 innings.
Giants right-hander Jeff Samardzija is heading back to the disabled list, per a team announcement on Sunday. Samardzija was diagnosed with another bout of inflammation in his right shoulder and will undergo further evaluation this week, though surgery is not currently being considered. A concrete timetable for his return to the rotation will not be set until the club knows the extent of his injury.
At this point in the season, Samardzija has seen far more time on the DL than he has on the mound. This will be his third trip there after missing a collective nine weeks with a pectoral strain and right shoulder rightness since the start of the year. When healthy, he put up a 1-5 record in 10 starts with a 6.25 ERA, 5.2 BB/9 and 6.0 SO/9 through just 44 2/3 innings in 2018.
In a corresponding move, infielder Kelby Tomlinson has been recalled from Triple-A Sacramento. Southpaw Derek Holland will slot into Samardzija’s spot in the rotation; he currently carries a 5-8 record across 18 starts and a 4.09 ERA, 3.4 B/9 and 9.1 SO/9 over 101 1/3 innings in 2018.