© John Hefti | 2021 Sep 1
With a chance to extend their winning streak to a season-high seven games, the Giants reinstated two key position players from the injured list.
Outfielder Austin Slater and infielder Wilmer Flores return from the IL for Sunday’s series-opener. Slater hit the seven-day IL last Sunday after he collided with the Oracle Park center field wall trying to rob a home run. Flores, meanwhile, had been dealing with hamstring issues for the majority of the season, but it flared up to the point of requiring an IL stint during the Brewers series.
On the season, Slater is slashing .227/.313/.395. Flores is tied for fourth on the team with 17 home runs.
In corresponding moves, San Francisco sent relief pitchers Caleb Baragar and John Brebbia down to Triple-A Sacramento.
Both relievers performed well at the big league level, albeit in low leverage situations. They only ate innings when SF was either up or down big. Most recently, Baragar threw three innings of one-run ball in Saturday’s blowout win over Chicago. He became the first Giant since Chris Stratton in 2017 to record a three-inning save.
Regardless of game situation, both Baragar and Brebbia helped SF’s bullpen stay fresh amid a stretch in which the club’s down two starters.
Optioning Baragar and Brebbia in favor of two bats gives SF’s lineup more depth and flexibility. The Giants now have Mike Yastrzemski, Kris Bryant, LaMonte Wade Jr., Slater and Steven Duggar on the outfield depth chart. Duggar in particular has provided a spark after a month-long extended stay in Sacramento. When Alex Dickerson (right hamstring strain) is ready to return from his injury, SF may have a tough choice to make between him and Duggar.
Both Slater and Flores will start Sunday against left handed pitcher Justin Steele. With a seven-game homestand with the Padres and Braves beginning Monday, they could spell key players such as Evan Longoria, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt or Kris Bryant for extra rest.
Below is the full lineup for Sunday’s series finale:
Austin Slater, CF
Darin Ruf, LF
Kris Bryant, RF
Buster Posey, C
Evan Longoria, 3B
Wilmer Flores, 1B
Thairo Estrada, 2B
Mauricio Dubón, SS
Logan Webb, SP