LOS ANGELES – Brandon Belt has a fractured thumb, and he’s hitching an early ride home.
Belt left Dodger Stadium at the final out Friday night to try to catch a flight back to the Bay Area, where his left thumb will be examined by hand specialist Dr. Tim McAdams. The Giants will have a clearer diagnosis after Belt is examined but Manager Bruce Bochy estimated that the club would be without its first baseman until June 20 or thereabouts.
“It’s hard to say how long,” Bochy said. “We could be looking at around six weeks.”
Belt was struck by a pitch from Dodgers left-hander Paul Maholm in the second inning and initially stayed in the game, but Joaquin Arias replaced him in the bottom of the inning. The Giants won 3-1 but paid a price for it.
“When I looked at it, I said, `That is not good,’” Bochy said. “It was just locked up … You lost your first baseman and that’s a blow for us. He hits in the heart of our order. It’s the old bittersweet thing.”
Bochy huddled up with the coaching staff and got on the phone with GM Brian Sabean to go over roster options. He didn’t rule out more than one move Saturday; the club has to activate Matt Cain from the DL to take the mound as he returns from a cut on his pitching hand.
Bochy mentioned a rotation of Buster Posey, Michael Morse and Hector Sanchez. He also mentioned Adam Duvall, who hit his 11th home run for Triple-A Fresno on Friday and is already on the 40-man roster.
Duvall primarily plays third base but he was at first base Friday night. Pablo Sandoval is considered a better defender at third base, so moving him across to first base wouldn’t make much sense.
“Those are all things we’ll talk about,” Bochy said. “Maybe split it up quite a bit. Hector, he played just one game in the spring but he looked comfortable.”
The Giants also have Travis Ishikawa back in the system, but he’s on the Triple-A DL with a jammed finger. Once he heals up, it might make sense to add him to the roster because his late-inning defense would be valuable.
Nobody was blaming Maholm, who cursed himself after throwing the pitch that struck Belt. The Dodgers lefty said he wanted the pitch down and away.
“First pitch of the inning, I missed by about 2 feet,” Maholm said. “It’s not like I mind throwing inside, or missing inside, but you don’t ever want to see a guy get hurt. You don’t ever want to see those things happen. It was unintentional. Unfortunately, that’s probably one of the worst spots a hitter can get hit.”
Belt was on the DL one time earlier in his career, when he sustained a hairline wrist fracture in 2011.