Brandon Belt was scratched from Saturday’s lineup and wasn’t ever included in Sunday’s starting nine.
Belt, who got his right knee drained Friday, is considered day-to-day, manager Gabe Kapler said. The 34-year-old first baseman has dealt with knee issues in the past, but this specific ailment isn’t considered too serious. But it is holding Belt out Sunday as the Giants try to fend off a sweep from San Diego.
In 26 games for the Giants this year, Belt is hitting .228 with four home runs. Most of his production, though, came in April. In nine May games, Belt is 7-for-35 (.200) with one extra base hit and two RBI.
Still, the Giants value his bat in the middle of the order. Even against left-handed starter MacKenzie Gore, Kapler said SF likely would have started Belt if he was available.
“The combination of Gore being on the mound and Belt still being on the mend that made this decision a little bit easier,” Kapler said. “Otherwise, I almost always want Brandon’s bat in the lineup, left or right, right now. And obviously his defense is really valuable for us.”
- Kapler said the Giants will probably be without LaMonte Wade Jr. for a “couple weeks.” Wade’s knee injury from the spring flared up last Monday in Denver. An MRI revealed inflammation and a bone bruise, but Wade is seeking another opinion from a specialist on Monday to learn more.
- The Giants were 14-1 last season in games Alex Wood started immediately following a loss. So far in 2022, they’re 1-2 in such situations. The fun stat is more correlation than causation.
- A win on Sunday would put the Giants at 23-17 on the season. Through the same first 40 games last year, SF was 24-16.
“It’s nice to know we’re still in a good position even though I think we’ve faced some significant challenges already this year,” Kapler said. “With our COVID issues to some key players being out for long stretches. Not having Brandon Belt available to us regularly…Sometimes you feel like those things are disproportionately impacting us. We’ve had moments where it has felt that way. I don’t think that’s accurate over a long season, but I do think it’s accurate over a 40-game stretch.”