PHOENIX –- Brandon Belt’s grip change continues to pay off.
The adjustment lifted him to a much-improved second half last season. And as it turns out, it might speed his return from multiple fractures in his left thumb.
Belt said because he doesn’t wrap his thumb around the bat like he used to, it’s barely involved in his swing. He took batting practice on the field Friday for the first time since he was hit by a pitch May 9 and said he felt no vibrations when he made contact.
He also has begun playing catch, tossing lightly, and said throwing would be the biggest hurdle to clear before he begins a minor league rehab assignment. Because his thumb isn’t a huge issue when he hits, that minor league stint could begin sooner than anticipated.
[RELATED: Brandon Belt to undergo surgery]
It’ll probably take more than a dozen at-bats before the Giants activate Belt, though. He has a lot of mechanisms in his swing, and he basically has to start all over when it comes to his timing at the plate.
Also, the Giants remember well what happened last season around this time, when their offense was in a tailspin and they activated Pablo Sandoval from the disabled list in the hopes he could provide a spark. Sandoval wasn’t ready either and merely contributed to the team-wide funk.
In other pregame news from Chase Field, Hector Sanchez told me he was dizzy for the next four innings after a foul tip off the bat of Adam Dunn in Chicago literally knocked him on his backside Tuesday.
He didn’t tell that to trainers who let him stay in the game, though. He waited until after the game.
As you might recall, just two days earlier the Giants removed Buster Posey from a game in the fourth inning after a foul tip to the mask left him with a headache. But you can’t accuse them of treating their $500,000 backup to a different safety standard than their $160 million franchise star when said backup doesn’t provide full disclosure.