The San Francisco Giants have been mathematically eliminated from making the postseason in what's been a tumultuous season in the Bay Area, so there's no reason to rush first baseman Brandon Belt back to action.
Club officials have acknowledged privately they don't expect the 29-year-old to return to play this season as he continues his recovery from a concussion, reports Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area.
Belt hasn't played since being struck in the helmet by a pitch Aug. 4 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was later diagnosed with a concussion, the fourth of his career and third in the last four seasons.
The slugger told Pavlovic he doesn't intend to return to action until he's back to full health, whenever that may be.
"There are always going to be some questions about whether this has some long term effects, and hopefully it doesn’t," Belt said. "But right now it’s not going to keep me from playing baseball. In the long run, I want to make sure I’m 100,000 percent ready to go when the season starts next year. That’s the long-term outlook, and if I can get back this season it’s a bonus."
Before being put on the shelf, Belt was hitting .241/.355/.469 with 18 home runs and 51 RBIs for the scuffling Giants.
When Belt's recovered from this concussion, he's optimistic they'll be in his rearview mirror given the nature of his injuries.
"It’s not like I’m repeatedly banging my head against something," he explained. "If that was the case, it might affect me more in the long term. This is more sporadic and the hits aren’t too terrible. Once I get over these concussions, they tell me that I won’t have to worry about them anymore."