Matt Stroup

Baseball Daily Dose

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Brand New Belt

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Quiet, please – Brandon Belt has the floor. Recalled from Triple-A on Tuesday, the 23-year-old promptly joined the starting lineup, homering in his first at-bat and ripping a two-run, go-ahead, opposite field double in his last at-bat that provided the decisive runs in a 5-3 win.

Before we go too far in declaring what this means for Belt's immediate future, it should be noted that beat writer Andrew Baggarly reports that Belt was called up to give Aubrey Huff a break from back tightness for a few days. With that said, the breakout game in his first big league action since late May certainly helps Belt's chances of getting a prolonged look, even after Aubrey Huff returns (Belt has been playing left and right field in the minors as well).

All things considered, I can certainly see the logic behind taking a mixed league flier on Belt in hopes that Bruce Bochy is ready to give him an extended major league audition in the near future.

In other news on a busy day for San Francisco...

  • On the same day that they placed Miguel Tejada (abdomen) on the DL, the Giants acquired Jeff Keppinger from the Astros for right-handers Henry Sosa and Jason Stoffel. And while Stoffel and Sosa don't have fantasy relevance – and Keppinger's limited value doesn't change much with the move – it is worth noting that the Astros have called up Jose Altuve to take Keppinger's place. Altuve has hit .361 with five homers and five steals in 144 at-bats at Double-A, and certainly warrants an add in NL-Only leagues.

  • Among the latest flurry of news on Carlos Beltran: Ken Rosenthal of puts the Phillies and Red Sox as two of the most aggressive suitors for the outfielder's services, while Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record reports that the Yankees have ruled Beltran out. Meanwhile, Beltran drove up his own price tag Tuesday by reaching base five times in his return to the lineup from the flu.

  • A number of big names returned from injuries on Tuesday. Among them: Jose Reyes (hamstring), Shane Victorino (thumb), Jose Bautista (ankle), and Ryan Braun (calf). Notably for Braun, the Brewers started him on Tuesday, but pulled him after five innings as they plan to ease him back into action. Braun went 1-for-3 with a homer and should hopefully be back to playing nine innings sooner rather than later.

  • Per beat writer Jordan Bastian, Indians manager Manny Acta said that the results of an MRI on Grady Sizemore's right knee weren't as bad as "we might've feared." That somewhat cryptic update came after GM Chris Antonetti said on Tuesday that we should know more about Sizemore's injury in the next 24-48 hours. For the moment, the only thing to do unfortunately is to stay tuned.

  • Jason Isringhausen picked up his first save since 2008 on Tuesday, retiring the Cardinals on 11 pitches in a perfect frame. Isringhausen needs to be added wherever available, but Bobby Parnell is still worth hanging onto in the event that Isringhausen gets dealt elsewhere at the deadline.

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    Pitcher injury notes: J.J. Putz (elbow) threw a perfect inning on his rehab assignment and appears to be getting close to a return … Beat writer Todd Zolecki reports that Roy Oswalt (back) could make a rehab start next week after a pain-free bullpen session … Scott Baker (elbow) will throw a bullpen Wednesday that will determine whether he starts this weekend or heads for a rehab assignment … Jonathan Broxton (elbow) did arm exercises Monday, but still isn't ready to begin throwing … X-rays on Tom Gorzelanny's ankle were negative, but he's still missing his next start as a precaution … Clay Buchholz (back) was slated to throw a side session early this week, but his timetable remains unclear … The Nationals are planning to add Chien-Ming Wang (shoulder) to their active roster around July 29.

    Position player injury notes: Ike Davis (ankle) admitted that he might not be able to return this season … Chipper Jones (knee) ran and took BP as he continues to target a Monday return … Jason Heyward (foot) is expected to return Wednesday … The Orioles transferred Brian Roberts (concussion) to the 60-day DL as his return date remains uncertain … Pablo Sandoval left early due to right quad tightness, but could play Wednesday … Alex Gordon (foot) returned to action, going 1-for-4 … Austin Jackson went 2-for-5, telling Yahoo! Sports that his wrist is "definitely feeling better."

    Position player injury notes (part 2): Casey Blake (neck) received a cortisone shot, but remains out indefinitely … Travis Buck left Tuesday after being hit in the head by a Francisco Liriano pitch, but early indications are that he avoided a concussion … Scott Sizemore left Tuesday's game after being hit in the jaw/neck area and is being called day-to-day (though not likely to play Wednesday) … Though reportedly running at just 60 percent, Peter Bourjos (hamstring) is currently on course to be activated Saturday … Freddy Sanchez (shoulder) has been swinging and throwing from 90 feet, but it remains unclear if he'll return this season … Luke Scott has been shut down for a few days while feeling pain during his rehab assignment.

    Miscellaneous notes: ESPN's Buster Olney reports that teams that talking to Houston about Hunter Pence come away "convinced it will take a major, major overpay" for Pence to be dealt … According to ESPN's Jayson Stark, the Phillies have "talked to the Marlins" about Leo Nunez … Jim Bowden of reports that the Indians are targeting Ryan Ludwick or Josh Willingham to fortify their outfield … Barry Zito will have his next start skipped after giving up eight earned runs in 3 2/3 innings against San Diego over the weekend … Royals GM Dayton Moore said on MLB Network Radio that Aaron Crow will move into the starting rotation next season … Ryan Theriot was suspended two games for his actions on Sunday, but has appealed for now.

    Editor's Note: For exclusive columns, rankings, projections and more, check out Rotoworld's MLB Season Pass.

    Notable pitching: Alexi Ogando threw eight shutout innings against the Angels … Madison Bumgarner surrendered three runs in eight strong innings against the Dodgers … Bartolo Colon bounced back from two ugly outings with nine strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings in a loss to the Rays, but was outpitched by Jeremy Hellickson … Called up on Tuesday, Danny Duffy allowed two runs in seven innings (five hits, two walks, six K's) in a win over the White Sox … Ubaldo Jimenez struck out nine in 6 2/3 innings, but was inexplicably left in to throw 120 pitches in a lopsided win over the Braves … James McDonald threw 6 1/3 scoreless innings with seven strikeouts against the Reds … Dillon Gee picked up his ninth win with seven innings of two-run ball against the Cardinals … Justin Masterson threw 7 2/3 shutout innings in a no-decision against the Twins … Tim Stauffer threw six scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 2.83 … Joel Peralta picked up a save against the Yankees, but only because Kyle Farnsworth was getting a night off after having pitched three of the last four days … Jim Johnson picked up a save in place of suspended closer Kevin Gregg, but presumably only because Koji Uehara had worked on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

    Notable hitting: Dan Uggla hit homers No. 16 and 17 … Rajai Davis stole three bases, giving him 10 in his last 13 games … Carlos Gonzalez homered for the first time since returning from a wrist injury … Though not currently starting against lefties, Brandon Allen homered for the second time in his first three games this year … Brett Gardner picked up two more hits and two more steals, giving him nine hits and six steals in his last four games.

  • Matt Stroup covers basketball, baseball and football for You can find him on Twitter here .
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