Reyes Moronta appeared to be gaining more confidence with each outing, which must make this even more painful.
The righty was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right flexor strain, the Giants announced shortly before Sunday’s finale with the Rockies at Oracle Park. San Francisco called up outfielder LaMonte Wade Jr. as the corresponding move, and he was batting eighth in the lineup and playing center field.
Moronta had thrown a scoreless inning Saturday, his third straight scoreless outing of the season. After 2019 shoulder surgery, his fastball has not quite returned — his average speed of the pitch is 93.9 mph this year, when it was 97.2 in ’19 — but he has gotten by anyway with a better slider that has neutralized opponents.
The Giants lacked a righty arm out of the bullpen all last year, which they hoped would be solved by Moronta’s return and the addition of Matt Wisler. The slider-happy Wisler has struggled early, allowing six runs and recording five outs, and Tyler Rogers is the only trusted righty out of the bullpen at the moment.
The Giants traded for Wade shortly before spring training, and the 27-year-old will be playing in his 43rd major league game. The lefty hitter has not had prolonged success in the big leagues yet, but the Giants believe in his plate discipline and like that he can move around the outfield, including playing center. He did not have a strong camp and said he was making tweaks with his swing, but Gabe Kapler has mentioned that they were impressed by his at-bats anyway; he walked seven times in 54 plate appearances in the Cactus League.
It is unclear if Mauricio Dubon and/or Austin Slater needed a day off or the Giants wanted Wade’s lefty bat against the righty German Marquez. Slater did not play Saturday, after which Kapler said the club’s bench was short, but the manager would not expand beyond that.
Here’s the lineup behind Anthony DeSclafani as the Giants go for a sweep:
1. Tommy La Stella, 2B
2. Mike Yastrzemski, RF
3. Alex Dickerson, LF
4. Brandon Belt, 1B
5. Evan Longoria, 3B
6. Brandon Crawford, SS
7. Curt Casali, C
8. LaMonte Wade Jr., CF
9. Anthony DeSclafani, P
Kapler was not effusive on Thairo Estrada‘s defense at shortstop: “I see shortstop as a position he can play.”
The Giants traded for the infielder from the Yankees on Sunday morning and have a gaping hole at the position. Brandon Crawford is backed up by Dubon, a center fielder, and Arismendy Alcantara had not inspired belief that he is a shortstop in the wings during Cactus League play.
“We were able to get some really strong makeup reports on Estrada,” Kapler said over Zoom. “We know he can run, we know he’s got a really good arm, and he provides depth and a potential utility player for us.”
In trading for Estrada, the Giants placed Jaylin Davis on the 60-day injured list with left knee patella tendinitis. The outfielder suffered the injury early in spring training and then aggravated it during the last week of camp. He got a PRP shot on March 29 and will continue his rehab in Arizona.
Pitching probables for the home series against the Reds:
Monday: Aaron Sanchez-Wade Miley
Tuesday: Kevin Gausman-Luis Castillo
Wednesday: Johnny Cueto-Tyler Mahle