Well, mystery solved.
Giants first baseman Brandon Belt has been slowed this spring by what manager Gabe Kapler labeled vaguely as an “illness.” Now we know that illness was, and to a lesser extent, is.
Per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Belt had a bout with Covid-19, which was immediately followed by a case of mononucleosis.
In Slusser’s report, Belt said he feeling much better. He lost weight and was weak for well, weeks, and he’s just now climbing back into shape. He said initially, he couldn’t get out of bed for seven or eight days.
Here’s some more insight from Slusser, and a word from Belt, too.
“I don’t know if I’ll make it to Opening Day, but I’m gonna try my hardest to get there,” he said. “If I’m a couple of weeks late, that’s just what it has to be.”
Belt said he didn’t have COVID symptoms until the end of his quarantine after a positive test, when he suddenly felt light-headed and weak during his workouts.
“I was really dizzy and just lost all energy after about 10 minutes of working out, so I had to deal with that for three or four weeks, and right at the end of that is when I got mono.” Belt said. “All that kind of came together, and I got hit pretty hard.”Susan Slusser/San Francisco Chronicle
That definitely sounds like the opposite of fun. Quite the one-two punch there. Note: it was questionable Belt would make opening day anyway, due to offseason heel surgery, which Belt says feels good.
Belt, one of the last remaining players from the Giants championship run of the 2010s, is a free agent at the end of the year, so you know he’s doing all he can to get on the field. There’s a solid chance this will be his last season by the Bay (unless the A’s pull one of their stunts) and if he’s to make a lasting impression, and set up another contract if so desired, he’s got to be healthy. Thankfully, he’s on the right track.