The Giants' right side of the infield is currently on the shelf due to each dealing with a concussion. Joe Panik, who sustained his concussion more rently than Brandon Belt, is far ahead in a return date to the Giants.
Panik ran sprints at AT&T Park on Sunday. He also took 50 swings between working off a tee and soft toss from a coach. The second baseman says if he feels well enough, he will take batting practice on the field Monday.
"I’m not dealing with any balance issues," Panik said to the San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday. "I hope to pick up where I left off."
Panik has been out since Aug. 13. When trying to score a run on the road against the Nationals, a throw struck him near his temple while sliding into home plate. He still stayed in the game.
Last season, Panik missed time with a concussion after being hit in the head by then-Rays pitcher Matt Moore.
Belt is in a different stage than Panik. He is limited to work in the gym and light cardio for now.
"With Belt, the best way I can describe it is, he's doing OK," manager Bruce Bochy said before Sunday's game. "He's doing cardio up to the point he needs to stop. He's not at a stage where he can push it right now."
Belt now has four career concussions between college and the pros. After taking a pitch to the head against D'backs rookie Anthony Banda, Belt immediately went down and has been out since that game on Aug. 4.
Bochy expects Panik back soon, but not before the Giants' homestand ends on Wednesday. Belt's retun to the field this season is still in question.
The Giants scored early and often Friday night, giving Bruce Bochy no reason to switch anything up Saturday in San Francisco.
Philadelphia Phillies (43-77)
1. Cesar Hernandez (S) 2B
2. Freddy Galvis (S) SS
3. Nick Williams (L) CF
4. Rhys Hoskins (R) LF
5. Maikel Franco (R) 3B
6. Jorge Alfaro (R) 1B
7. Cameron Rupp (R) C
8. Cameron Perkins (R) RF
9. Jerad Eickhoff (R) P
San Francisco Giants (50-74)
1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Hunter Pence (R) RF
3. Jarrett Parker (L) LF
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
6. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
7. Ryder Jones (L) 1B
8. Kelby Tomlinson (R) 2B
9. Ty Blach (R) P
SAN FRANCISCO — It has been nearly two weeks since Brandon Belt walked out of AT&T Park with yet another concussion. On Friday he could take a big step.
Belt will do some light cardio in hopes of ramping up the rehab process. That is generally the biggest step for concussed players. Often times, that cardio session leads to a longer shutdown when the player feels discomfort from activity. The Giants are hopeful that Belt will report only positive signs.
“He seems to be doing a little better,” manager Bruce Bochy said.
There is no timetable for Belt’s return, but the club hopes to get him back in the heart of the lineup down the stretch. That leads to an obvious question: Why would the Giants play him? Belt has suffered four concussions in the last eight years and he is a member of a last-place team that’s in a fight for the first pick in the draft. Doesn’t it make sense to just shut him down, make sure he gets fully healthy, and prepare for 2018?
“I know there’s talk about it, but I know for Brandon, he would like to get back,” Bochy said. “You hate to go into the offseason with six or seven weeks of not playing again, but at the same time we’ll make sure he’s completely recovered. If not, we won’t put him out there.”
Part of the shame of all this is that regardless of when Belt returns, he will have missed an opportunity to really put his stamp on a nice season. Belt leads all first baseman in defensive runs saved (12) and he would have had a very strong argument for his first Gold Glove Award. It’s possible he gets back in time to hold off Paul Goldschmidt and Anthony Rizzo. It’s also possible he gets back in time to shatter his career-high in homers. Belt is at 18 for the second time in three years, and before he went down he was on pace for about 30. The Giants will have a better idea of Belt's ability to return on Friday.
As for the other concussed Giant, there was less information about Joe Panik. He will be reevaluated on Friday.