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Evan Longoria hits IL with season-ending thumb injury

© D. Ross Cameron | 2022 Oct 2

Evan Longoria’s 15th season in the big leagues is over.

The veteran third baseman took a tough-hop grounder off the hand in the 10th inning of Sunday’s home finale. An x-ray revealed a right thumb fracture, which will shelve him for the remaining three games of 2022.

Along with placing Longoria on the 15-day IL, the Giants put left-handed reliever Thomas Szapucki on the 15-day IL and transferred starter Alex Wood to the 60-day list. San Francisco recalled outfielder Bryce Johnson and lefty Andrew Vasquez.

In 89 games this year, Longoria hit .244 with 14 home runs and a .767 OPS. His defense graded well, particularly for a 36-year-old at a premium position.

With Tampa Bay, Longoria was a beacon of durability. But since signing with the Giants in 2018, Longoria has played seasons of 125, 129, 81 and 89 games (he played 53 of 60 games in 2020).

In 2022, he dealt with multiple hamstring injuries — one of which he vowed to play through to try to will San Francisco’s season in the right direction.

“I’m going to try and play through it until it rips off or I can’t play anymore,” Longoria said in late August.

In a season with a record amount of roster churn, Longoria was a steadying, wise presence in the clubhouse. He organized an impromptu home run derby during one road trip and bleached his hair after another — efforts to invigorate the club. Local media gave him the annual Good Guy award, an honor he graciously accepted this week.

After suffering the thumb injury Sunday, Longoria remained in the game. He was on-deck during David Villar’s walk-off single, but manager Gabe Kapler said that SF would have used a pinch-hitter for him. Longoria was the first to hug Wilmer Flores, who slid in safely as the winning run.

That could have been Longoria’s last act on a baseball diamond, or at least as a Giant.

He’s spoken openly with local media about the prospect of retiring even as his performance — when healthy — has been solid. Last weekend, he mashed two homers in a game with his family in attendance.

If Longoria does decide to continue playing, the Giants will have to decide whether to pick up his $13 million option for 2023 or buy him out for $5 million.

 

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