Granted, the Giants have not had many lefties to face and had limited games to play with the stops and starts of the past week.
But Austin Slater has not taken an at-bat since Sept. 6 — 10 days ago — and not played the field since Aug. 6.
Slater had been emerging in the season’s first half not just against lefties but against everyone, as if the Giants had found another star outfielder to pair with Mike Yastrzemski. A flexor strain in his elbow then moved him from outfield to DH, and a groin injury placed him on the IL. With his elbow restricting him to being designated hitter and with Wilmer Flores’ bat outplaying his since Slater’s return, his only action in the past eight days has been as a pinch runner.
“The fact that Slates hasn’t taken at-bats recently and hasn’t been in the field in quite some time is certainly just one of those challenges that we have to deal with right now,” Gabe Kapler said before the Giants “visited” the Mariners at Oracle Park on Wednesday, the series shifting to San Francisco because of Seattle’s air quality.
Kapler suggested that with the Mariners pitching lefty Nick Margevicius on Thursday, Slater probably will start and said it’s still “nice to have him on our roster” because of his legs.
But there has been little progress on Slater’s throwing. He threw from the outfield to second base last week, but Kapler said there have been no developments in the past four or five days. Kapler said he’s hopeful “things will trend in the right direction” with Slater’s throwing, but it’s getting more difficult to see him playing the field this season with each day.
Meanwhile, Reyes Moronta is getting closer and closer.
The former fireballer, who’s working his way back from right shoulder surgery, is positioning himself as an intriguing wild card for a club that needs a solid righty out of the pen. He was scheduled to throw an inning in his first “game” in Sacramento on Wednesday.
“So far his stuff has been crisp and trending up,” Kapler said over Zoom.
Other injury updates from the Giants:
— Jeff Samardzija (right shoulder inflammation) is scheduled to throw five innings on Thursday at the alternate site.
— Aramis Garcia (right hip labrum repair) is working out in Arizona and is continuing all baseball activity.
— Kevin Gausman was set to play catch Wednesday, with the hope that if all goes right, he’ll make a start in Oakland this weekend.