Brandon Belt had an X-ray on Monday that revealed a fracture in his left thumb.
The Giants have not announced a timetable for return at this juncture, the team saying only that “Belt will continue to meet with doctors over the next couple of days to develop a recovery plan and timetable for his return.”
Belt took a 93 mph fastball to the hand while squaring up to bunt in the seventh inning of Sunday’s 6-2 win in Colorado. The 33-year-old leads the Giants in home runs (29) and OPS (.967).
Initial scans after the game came back inconclusive, so Belt received further examinations after the team touched down in San Francisco.
When asked whether he considers Belt an indispensable part of SF’s team, manager Gabe Kapler said he’s not yet ready to reflect on that.
Belt has already missed over 45 games this season with a knee and oblique injuries. In his stead, Wilmer Flores, LaMonte Wade Jr. and Darin Ruf picked up the slack at first, mirroring his offensive production to make SF’s first base tandem among the best position groups in baseball.
But Wade Jr. isn’t a natural first baseman, Flores is much more potent against left-handed pitchers and Ruf is currently on the injured list with an oblique strain. None of them are the fielder at first Belt is.
Belt’s contract expires at the end of the season. He recently told The Mercury News “I’d love to hang around.” Coming off a career year, his value as a free agent could explode even more if the MLB institutes a universal designated hitter.
With six regular season games to play, the Giants are two games ahead of the Dodgers in the NL West. SF’s remaining schedule is all home at Oracle Park, and the Giants would also host a potential Game 163 tiebreaker with LA, an NLDS Game 1 and a Wild Card game.
They’ll have to navigate any scenario without their best power hitter.