9:52pm: The hope is that Melancon will be ready to be activated on May 16th, the earliest he’d be available given his backdated DL placement, as Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area was among those to tweet. Manager Bruce Bochy noted that the veteran hurler has been pitching through some discomfort for a few weeks, with the team evidently deciding now was time to try to get him past the issue.
At the moment, it’s not clear how long Melancon is expected to miss. It’s promising, at least, that the team has specified the strain is “mild.” But any forearm issue comes with potential implications for elbow health, so the club will need to exercise care in getting Melancon back to the hill.
The news is yet another blow to a San Francisco team that has drastically underperformed expectations after promising Melancon $62MM over four years to solve the club’s ninth-inning woes of last year. The veteran reliever has held up his end of the bargain — he carries a 2.53 ERA through 10 2/3 innings, with a typically excellent K/BB ratio (10:1) — but not much else has gone right for the Giants thus far.
It seems likely Derek Law will get the first crack at the closer’s job while Melancon is down, Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area writes. Hunter Strickland would also seem to have a shot at factoring in the mix.