Mike Yastrzemski and Johnny Cueto should be back this weekend. But the Giants’ injured list is, at the moment, 12 players deep.
There are the longtime Tommy John members, Tyler Beede, John Brebbia and Dedniel Nunez. Jaylin Davis is on the 60-day IL. Tommy La Stella and Donovan Solano aren’t, but it’s possible both wind up missing a month (or more) rather than a couple weeks. LaMonte Wade Jr. and Jarlin Garcia are working their ways back, while Kevin Gausman (COVID IL) should make his Saturday start.
And then there are the players who are not on the IL, and thus allegedly healthy. Alex Dickerson (shoulder), Brandon Crawford (rib-cage tightness, followed by quad tightness, followed by a calf contusion), Evan Longoria (feeling better after hamstring tightness) are all concerns. Mauricio Dubon was briefly, too, after he was drilled in the hand Tuesday. Both Buster Posey (tight hamstring) and Wilmer Flores (knee contusion) were added to the walking wounded Wednesday.
There was so much industry-wide concern about pitchers’ arms holding up after the 60-game season, and it’s justified. But with position-player injuries, so many soft-tissue and muscle strains infecting teams across the league, perhaps that concern was not heightened enough. The Giants are excited for Thursday, when they do not need to play baseball and Gabe Kapler does not need to test 18 limbs before filling out a lineup card.
“I think this off day is really going to help. I don’t think that it’s any secret that we were fairly banged up this entire trip,” the manager said after the Giants’ 6-5 loss in Colorado, dropping the series and finishing the road trip 2-4. “It’s not to make an excuse for the record on the trip — we have to play better baseball.”
There is a better chance of that happening when it’s healthier baseball.
Posey appears to be OK after leaving for the seventh inning. Kapler said the catcher felt the hamstring pull at him when he tried to turn a single into a double in the fifth (unsuccessfully). Kapler expects his .394-hitting slugger back in the lineup Friday.
There are similarly no long-term concerns for Flores, who fouled a ball off his left knee in the ninth and was removed after he walked.
“It’s a painful moment,” Kapler said over Zoom.
They don’t think Dickerson’s sore shoulder will linger after he injured it making a diving catch in San Diego. Dickerson was able to pinch-hit late in Wednesday’s game.
The outfield unit that started was Jason Vosler (a corner infielder), Steven Duggar (who wasn’t even the first outfielder called up from Sacramento) and new addition Mike Tauchman.
Yeah: They are looking forward to this off day.
“I think we’ll have a healthier group, a refreshed group and look forward to being a stronger unit physically from a health perspective heading into the San Diego series,” Kapler said.
Matt Wisler, whose ERA is now 7.94 in 11 1/3 innings, entered with plenty of traffic on the bases and turned into a traffic cop who allowed each to advance.
He emptied the bases that Logan Webb left loaded in the fourth, turning a 3-2 Rockies lead into a 6-2 hole that the Giants did not climb out of.
His prized slider, which the Giants believed in enough to sign him this offseason, gave up RBI singles to opposing starter Jon Gray and Raimel Tapia.
Before the blowup, Wisler has settled down and allowed three runs in his past seven innings, and Kapler said he’s been “doing a better job.”
“I know he’s having some difficulty avoiding hard contact,” said Kapler, before praising his work Tuesday. “…I think right now the slider is going to play better when we move away from Coors, but I think that that’s true for all of our pitchers. I’m actually seeing an improved version of it. I understand from the outside it doesn’t look that way, but I’m seeing some steps in the right direction.”
Joey Bart, who was called up when Gausman went to the IL, was optioned back to Triple-A Sacramento after the game.