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Belt hits in batting practice for first time since surgery

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With less than three weeks until the opener, the Giants finally got their starting first baseman back on the field. 

Brandon Belt has missed most of camp with what manager Gabe Kapler has said was a non-COVID illness, but he ramped up his activity this week and finally took on-field batting practice on Friday morning. It was Belt's first appearance during a team workout this spring. 

"That went well," Kapler said. "He took batting practice and everything was fine. Ran on the treadmill. He actually ran kinda fast on the treadmill today -- up to 17 mph -- he's moving a little bit, so it's good news."

The Giants had concerns about Belt's availability for Opening Day even before he got sick. After a strong 2020 season, Belt had surgery in mid-October to have a bone spur removed from his right heel, which kept him out of most of summer camp last July and bothered him during the season. 

The news was less positive for a couple of younger Giants. Rule 5 draft pick Dedniel Nuñez came out of Friday's game against the Rockies because he felt pain in his right wrist. The right-hander will be sent for an MRI. Outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe saw a hand specialist a few days after coming out of a game in pain, and it was determined that he has a moderate wrist sprain that will sideline him for six to eight weeks. 

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Basabe was not going to be an option for opening day but serves as Triple-A depth for the outfield. Nuñez was pushing for a spot in the opening bullpen, hitting 98 mph earlier this spring and showing good command in three previous outings. The right-hander came out of Friday's game after walking three batters.

 

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