OAKLAND – The Giants are desperate for some added power in their lineup. In the month of the July, the Giants rank dead-last in the majors in home runs, with eight, and slugging percentage at .338. Despite a sub-par season, third baseman Evan Longoria may be the Giants’ best chance to add power to the lineup, potentially as early as next Tuesday.
Before game five of the Bay Bridge Series against the Oakland A’s on Saturday, manager Bruce Bochy announced Longoria was making progress in his rehab assignment with the Triple-A Sacramento Rivercats. Bochy said the Giants could be targeting a Tuesday start for Longoria in the majors against Seattle Mariners’ starting pitcher James Paxton.
“That will be the call that we’ll have to make and whether we think he’s ready,” Bochy said.
Longoria was placed on the 10-day disabled list July 7 after surgery he received on his fractured left hand in June. But even with his more than month-long absence, Longoria still ranks third in home runs for the Giants with 10 on the season. In his first Triple-A rehab appearance with Sacramento on Friday night, Longoria had two hits, including a double in five innings of work.
“A nice start for him,” Bochy said. “He swung the bat well, five innings, all went well. He felt great. He’ll get extended to seven innings today, then tomorrow, if he feels fine after the game tonight, he’ll go nine (innings).”
Bochy shrugged off suggestions that Longoria’s rehab schedule might be too aggressive.
“It’s not a leg (injury),” Bochy said. “It’s his hand and that feels fine, so he’s been doing all his conditioning, but we’ll see how he comes out of the game tonight. If we think he needs a break, we’ll give him that, but I’ll talk to Dave Brundage, our Triple-A manager, tomorrow, and see where we’re at with him.”
While Bochy has been explicit about the Giants’ need to add more power to the lineup, he said the team would be careful not to bring Longoria back too quickly.
“We’ll rely on our medical staff and Longo,” Bochy said. “Also, we have to be smart about this and make sure his hand is 100 percent and he’s ready to go.”
For more Giants videos click here.