Matthew Boyd’s simulated game cut short; Giants’ Brandon Belt nears return

While Belt nears return, Giants’ Boyd has sim game cut short originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SAN FRANCISCO – It was a good sign when three rehabbing Giants took the field at 3 pm on Monday for a simulated game, but only two of them ended up taking steps forward.

Left-hander Matthew Boyd, who has been nearing the start of a minor league assignment, had his session cut short because he felt elbow discomfort. This was Boyd’s first time facing hitters since he underwent surgery to repair his flexor tendon last September.

“That’s not necessarily indicative of any setback or long-term thing,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “He just didn’t feel particularly comfortable on the mound really letting it go, so we stopped that and cut that short. We’re going to continue to treat him and evaluate him.”

Boyd was signed during spring training to add rotation depth, and the Giants certainly need it right now. Anthony DeSclafani and Alex Cobb are both currently on the IL and Jakob Junis, another depth option, is out four to six weeks after straining his hamstring in his last start.

The Giants had signed Boyd knowing he would need to rehab until at least June, but he was sailing through that process and was likely a couple of simulated games away from starting a minor league rehab assignment. Now, there’s some uncertainty.

The Giants are TBA for Wednesday’s game against the Kansas City Royals but should get back to a full rotation shortly thereafter. Cobb (neck strain) is doing well and is eligible to return this weekend. DeSclafani can return June 21, and he is scheduled to make a second rehab start on Thursday.

— The good news Monday was that Brandon Belt’s swings in the sim game went well, and he could return to the lineup during this series. Belt has been out since May 19 with knee inflammation.

“The last couple of days have been his best in a really long time,” Kapler said.

Wade also stood in during Boyd’s time on the mound and could start a rehab assignment this weekend. In Triple-A, he’ll join Steven Duggar, who is doing well in his recovery from an oblique strain and is eligible to join the Giants as early as June 21. That one could get tricky. Luis Gonzalez has played well since getting called up and the Giants cannot carry all three of Gonzalez, Wade and Duggar.

— With righties on the mound twice in this series for the Royals, the Giants optioned Heliot Ramos back to Triple-A and added right-hander Mauricio Llovera back to a bullpen that likely will need to take down nine innings Wednesday. Ramos was called up over the weekend and started against Clayton Kershaw and Julio Urias, going 0-for-4.

It was no surprise that the Giants made the move, although Ramos is now three options from hitting the limit for one season.

— Evan Longoria (hamstring) is likely to DH on Tuesday night. He was moving well Monday and took BP in a Jordan Poole jersey:

Tommy La Stella (back) was back in the lineup. Curt Casali (hamstring) is available, but Austin Wynns may start the first two games of this series as the Giants look to get Casali more time to recover.

— Catcher Joey Bart has not joined Triple-A Sacramento yet. He has spent the last week working with Giants coaches in San Francisco. Bart was optioned last Wednesday.

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