LOS ANGELES –- Giants first baseman Brandon Belt will undergo surgery on Tuesday to insert two pins in his fractured left thumb, but the club still believes he can be ready to return in six weeks.
Dr. Tim McAdams will perform the procedure to stabilize multiple fractures in his proximal phalanx. The pins will be removed after four weeks, at which time the Giants should have a better idea when their starting first baseman can return to the lineup.
Given that Belt will require a minor league rehab assignment, it’s hard to envision him playing many games before the All-Star break, if at all.
Michael Morse began taking ground balls at first base and he could make his Giants debut there when the club opens its homestand Monday against the Atlanta Braves. Bochy really believes Morse will be a solid defender at first base, saying infielders will appreciate his “condor wingspan.”
Hector Sanchez, who took two brutal foul tips behind the plate on Sunday, passed all concussion tests and also got some work at first base.
The starter Sunday, though, is Joaquin Arias, mostly because Bochy felt Morse needed a day off and he didn’t want to push Sanchez a day after those foul tips. Brandon Crawford, who is raking lefties, also gets a day off against Clayton Kershaw because he’s played every inning of the first nine games of this trip and “is pretty beat up,” Bochy said.
The resulting lineup -- Pagan CF, Pence RF, Posey C,Sandoval 3B, Hicks 2B, Arias 1B, Perez LF, Adrianza SS, Hudson P – is what Bochy refers to as his “bomb squad.”
“It’s a tough start for some of those guys, but sometimes you do this against an ace,” Bochy said.
Even if you lose to Kershaw, you’re able to freshen up your regulars. And if you beat him, all the better.
[RELATED: Belt fractures thumb in game vs. Dodgers]
You’ll note that the Giants have a .173 hitter in the cleanup spot. Is that a message to Pablo Sandoval?
“Yeah,” Bochy said. “That we still believe he’s going to come out of this. Let him know how good we think he is. He brings a presence. With the adjustments today, he’s our best candidate.”
For much more on Sandoval, including his thoughts on what’s gone so terribly wrong this season, be sure to click on the story I wrote yesterday.
One other note: left-hander David Huff’s strained quad flared up a bit, so his activation from the DL is not imminent.