On the night that yet another season spiraled out of his hands, Brandon Belt had an eerily prescient conversation with his hitting coach. Belt was on pace to approach 30 homers. A day earlier, he had tied his career-high by crushing his 18th. Hensley Meulens congratulated him and noted that he would easily surpass his previous best. “Yeah,” Belt joked, “Unless I get a season-ending injury or something.” A few hours later, Arizona Diamondbacks rookie Anthony Banda lost command of a curveball and drilled Belt on the side of the helmet. The first baseman went down right away. He hasn’t played since. Belt, in a phone interview with NBC Sports Bay Area, acknowledged the obvious: His season almost certainly ended on August 4. He feels better with each passing day, but he is still dealing with lingering problems with his vestibular system and vision. The Giants have just 20 games left and Belt is simply running out of time. This was Belt’s fourth documented concussion in the last eight years and third in the last four seasons, but he is not fearful about his future. It’s the opposite, actually. Belt is adamant that he will return next season at 100 percent. “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 one-hundred-thousand 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.” Privately, Giants officials have acknowledged for several days that they do not expect Belt to return this season. Belt has been doing light rehab work, but doctors have not yet cleared him for baseball activities. He has more appointments in the coming days, but if his vision issues do not improve this week, the situation will become official.
Still feeling concussion symptoms, Brandon Belt discusses his future
CSN Bay Area | Sep 8