SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants are going to be without starting pitcher Alex Cobb for the duration of their nine-game homestand and it remains unclear as to when first baseman Brandon Belt will be able to return.
The Giants on Tuesday placed Cobb on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Saturday, with a neck strain. Manager Gabe Kapler said the Giants are hoping Cobb can return during the team’s series June 17-19 in Pittsburgh.
Belt remains out indefinitely with inflammation in his right knee, although Kapler said the two-time World Series champion has not had a setback. Tuesday, Belt began running outside and taking ground balls.
Belt was placed on the 10-day injured list on May 22 and was not with the team during its 10-game road trip through Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and Miami.
“It’s about as significant as we thought it was,” Kapler said of Belt’s injury before the Giants opened a three-game series with the Colorado Rockies at Oracle Park. “Things are not perfectly predictable and swelling is not perfectly predictable. The strengthening of the (quadriceps) doesn’t happen as fast as you want it to happen sometimes.”
The Giants went 7-7 in Belt’s absence and entered Tuesday in third place in the National League West, 5½ games back of the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Giants’ series with the Rockies continues Wednesday and Thursday and a three-game set with the Dodgers starts Friday. The homestand ends with three games against Kansas City Royals from Monday to Wednesday.
“I’ve definitely gotten better,” Belt said, “but I don’t know where the endpoint is.”
Cobb’s last start came May 29 when he threw six innings in a 6-4 Giants win over Cincinnati. He’s recently had discomfort in both his back and hamstring and Kapler said as Cobb was dealing with those maladies, he began to have stiffness in his neck, prompting a stay on the IL.
“I guess that’s not all that unusual when it comes to like backs and necks,” Kapler said. “Just wake up stiff and you’re not able to get through it. So I don’t know what to make of it. He’s pretty frustrated, and rightfully so.”
Cobb had some mixed results before the neck injury.
He had a 2-1 record in his previous four starts, which included a solid performance against Colorado on May 11, when he allowed one earned run in 5 1/3 innings. He was lit up for a combined 13 earned runs in starts against the Rockies in Denver and at home against the New York Mets but had eight strikeouts in six innings against the Reds.
“He’s had some of the best stuff that he’s had in his career and he just wants his body to cooperate,” Kapler said.
RUF RETURNS: Outfielder Darin Ruf was activated from the bereavement list Tuesday after he attended his father’s funeral. Bill Ruf, 87, died May 30 and his service was held on June 3. He was survived by his wife, Mary, two sisters, five children, and six grandchildren.
“I can’t imagine losing my father, let alone in the middle of the season, trying to grind through a Major League season,” Giants third baseman Evan Longoria said. “I’m sure that it’s been very emotional.”
WADE UPDATE: The Giants’ injury situation isn’t all dour as outfielder LaMonte Wade Jr. is set to start a rehab assignment Thursday in Sacramento. Wade, on the IL since May 30 with left knee inflammation, is participating in full baseball activities, including baserunning.
OTHER INJURIES: The Giants said left-hander Matthew Boyd (elbow) will throw his next bullpen Thursday in San Francisco. Anthony DeSclafani (right ankle inflammation) threw a bullpen Tuesday and is scheduled to start a rehab game this weekend. Steven Duggar (left oblique strain) remains on his rehab assignment in Sacramento.
Contributed by local news sources