Programming note: Pirates-Giants coverage starts tonight at 7:00 p.m. on KNTV NBC Bay Area
SAN FRANCISCO -- While the Giants work to find another right-handed hitting second baseman or outfielder on the trade market, they’re getting nearer to adding back a couple of their injured starters.
First baseman Brandon Belt passed his concussion test and reported feeling much better nine days after he was struck in the face by a thrown ball in batting practice. Belt was cleared to resume physical activities and could begin swinging a bat as soon as Tuesday.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said it’s looking likely that Belt will be activated from the 7-day concussion DL sometime early on the next road trip, which begins Friday in New York.
Catcher Hector Sanchez, who sustained a mild concussion Friday night on a foul tip to the mask, failed his concussion test and is at least three to four days away from being cleared to resume activities. But that’s only a guess, especially since Sanchez’s position is naturally more hazardous.
In the meantime, Giants manager Bruce Bochy is looking at Wednesday to give backup catcher Andrew Susac his first major league start.
As for outfielder Angel Pagan, who has been out since June 14 with a lower back issue, he will increase to a full pregame workout in Arizona and if all goes well he could begin a minor league rehab assignment after that. It’s unclear how many games Pagan might require before he returns. Remember, last year he began a minor league rehab assignment and had to be carried off the field on a stretcher when he had a setback with his hamstring injury. The Giants hope it goes smoother this time.
As for the trade market, the Giants have options but all of them come with hurdles. Arizona wants to deal Aaron Hill but he’s making $11 million this year and has $12 million salaries guaranteed in 2015 and ’16. The Mets are asking a lot for Daniel Murphy, who will pile up the hits but isn’t considered a reliable defender. Murphy should get roughly $8 million in arbitration next year, too. The name most often linked to the Giants is Ben Zobrist, but it’s hard to imagine them putting together a package that could net him. Zobrist has a team-friendly $7.5 million club option for next season.
As for the trade-for-Jimmy-Rollins-and-move-Brandon-Crawford-to-second-base rumor … well, that one just doesn’t begin to make any sense.