With Longoria Headed to the DL, Belt Ready for Imminent Return

LOS ANGELES -- Brandon Belt is ready to go. The Giants are not quite ready for him, though. 

Belt went through a full workout at Dodger Stadium on Friday and deemed himself ready to return from an appendectomy, but the Giants opted instead to add Pierce Johnson, a 14th pitcher, for the opener of a three-game series with the Dodgers. Belt is expected to be activated and in the lineup Saturday. 

Johnson took Evan Longoria's roster spot, and he'll provide depth for a bullpen that had to get through 16 innings yesterday. Long reliever Ty Blach is unavailable and manager Bruce Bochy hinted that at least one other reliever needs a break. 

While the Giants were going through a marathon in Miami, Belt was in Arizona, getting five at-bats against minor league pitchers in an intrasquad game. He said he had no setbacks. 

"I am ready to be activated," Belt said. "I feel good."

Belt hasn't played since June 1, when he was pulled after two innings with stomach pain. He said he actually started feeling off the day before, and was in such discomfort that he skipped a planned trip to Oracle for Game 1 of the NBA Finals. He had his appendix removed about five hours after being pulled from the game, and a few hours after that, sent out a photo from the gurney. Belt joked that he was lonely and wanted to interact with fans. 

"I had a lot of painkillers in me," he added. 

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