The Giants will lose one of their most important players for an uncertain period with the season winding down.
Brandon Belt suffered a broken left thumb in a 6-2 win against the Rockies on Sunday, with an X-ray on Monday confirming the injury, according to the team. The Giants said Belt will meet with doctors to determine a recovery plan, and a timetable for his return is unknown.
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The loss of Belt is a major one to a team that entered Tuesday just two games up on the Dodgers for the top spot in the NL West. Belt leads the team in home runs with 29 and with a wRC+ of 158.
Without Belt in the lineup, the Giants will have to find a new first baseman to plug into the lineup. Darin Ruf has been sideline with a right oblique strain, leaving a likely platoon of LaMonte Wade Jr. and Wilmer Flores to man first in Belt’s absence.
This season, Wade, a left-handed hitter, has slashed .259/.334/.498 with 18 home runs and Flores, a right-handed batter, has slashed .259/.331/.449 with 18 home runs.
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Fractured thumb injuries don’t take as long as other injuries to recover, but the timing for San Francisco makes it more complicated. According to Sideline Sports Doc, it typically takes about three weeks for non-contact sports and sometimes as little as two weeks.
However, the NLDS begins on Oct. 8 and, should the Dodgers catch San Francisco in the chase for the division, the Giants would have to play in the one-game NL Wild Card Game matchup on Oct. 6.
The schedule to end the regular season shapes up relatively favorably for the Giants, even without their slugger. They play six home games to end the campaign, starting with a three-game set against the Diamondbacks, who enter Tuesday tied for the worst record in baseball with the Orioles. After Arizona, they face the Padres, who have lost eight of their past 10 games and have endured a brutal second-half slide.
The Dodgers also end the season with six straight home games, but face the Padres in three straight starting Tuesday before facing the NL Central champion Brewers in three games.
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