Brandon Belt Exits Early with Groin Strain

The San Francisco Giants are starting to resemble a MASH unit as the defending World Series champs have suffered a series of injuries just two days into the regular season. Recent injuries to Matt Cain and Jake Peavy add to those that Hunter Pence, Travis Ishikawa and Erik Cordier suffered during spring training.

The Giants are adding another name to the list of injured players as Brandon Belt exited San Francisco’s game against Arizona with a groin strain. Belt suffered the injury during the fourth inning while attempting to chase down shortstop Nick Ahmed‘s foul pop. He turned and took several steps back before pulling up lame.

Source: Christian Petersen/ Getty Images North America First baseman Brandon  Belt was 1-for-2 with one RBI before exiting Tuesday night's game early with a groin strain.

Source: Christian Petersen/ Getty Images North America
First baseman Brandon Belt was 1-for-2 with one RBI before exiting Tuesday night’s game early with a groin strain.

Belt, who was 1-for-2 during the game with one RBI, would normally have been replaced by Ishikawa, but he is on the disabled list with a back injury and is not eligible to be activated until April 14. Instead, the Giants replaced Belt with utility man Jaoquin Arias.

If Belt’s injury is serious enough to warrant a trip to the 15-day disabled list, San Francisco will need to visit some roster options.

One option that several Giant faithful could be in favor of is promoting Andrew Susac. If Susac is promoted, he would need to see a significant amount of time, otherwise he would be wasting potential at-bats that he could be receiving at Triple-A. Susac does not provide much of an option at first so he would have to spend the majority of his time behind the plate with All-Star catcher Buster Posey likely playing first base. While this is an enticing option, wasting one of Susac’s remaining options for a short stint could prove detrimental later on.

Instead, the Giants could promote Adam Duvall, who struggled during Cactus League play, hitting .167 with one home run and three RBI. Duvall provides flexibility as both a first baseman and third baseman, though he is not highly regarded defensively at either spot.

One outside-the-box option could be playing outfielder Justin Maxwell at first base. The 31-year-old career outfielder stands 6-foot-5 and would provide a prime target for infielders. The potential of playing Maxwell at first would also give Manager Bruce Bochy another option for getting his bat into the lineup.

Maxwell, who impressed during spring training by hitting .347 with two home runs and 15 RBI, would undoubtedly do anything in his power to help the team, even playing an unfamiliar position.

For now, Belt’s injury is just a strain and he is listed as day-to-day. It will be interesting to see how much time he actually misses.

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