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Slusser discusses how Giants’ roster will change with 3 hitters returning from injury



© Jesse Johnson | 2023 May 22

The Giants’ lineup is about to get an injection of talent for their away series in Colorado. Beat reporter Susan Slusser told Papa & Lund on Monday that she believes Thairo Estrada, Joc Pederson and Michael Conforto will all be activated from injury in the next couple days.

That’s great for a Giants lineup that is currently relying on rookies and finds itself in a tailspin, but it also means that at least one hitter is likely to be the odd-man out.

“The interesting thing is going to be what do they do roster-wise,” Slusser said on KNBR. “They have been kind of signaling for awhile three catchers. ‘Sure that’s great, we’ll bring up [Joey] Bart, [Blake] Sabol will be in left.’ Sabol’s playing time dips considerably if Pederson is back and they don’t have that DH spot to run everybody else through.”

Surprise, surprise, Slusser believes the player most likely to get sent down is the struggling Joey Bart.

“I think now they’re probably more likely to leave Joey Bart at Sacramento, just for the near future,” Slusser said. “When there’s a need, he will be back, but I think we will see Sabol as the backup catcher. That is not the best role for him right now, he is not as good behind the plate as either Bart or certainly [Patrick] Bailey.

“That is the only way I think to keep him on the roster. They have to keep him on the roster, not just because he’s a Rule 5 guy, but because he’s one of their better hitters, especially against right-handed pitching.”

Bart was slashing .231/.286/.295 before the groin injury, so he needs to round back into form before SF considers him with the major league squad again.

“I think Bart is the odd-man out for now,” Slusser concluded. “That won’t always be the case.”

Listen to the full interview above. You can listen to every KNBR interview on our podcast page at knbr.com/podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Catch Papa & Lund weekdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on KNBR 104.5 / 680 and streaming live on KNBR.com.