TODAY: Duggar says he will indeed undergo surgery, as Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets.
YESTERDAY: Giants outfielder Steven Duggar has been diagnosed with a torn labrum in his left shoulder following an MRI, the team revealed to reporters after last night’s game (link via Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle). Doctors have recommended surgery for the 24-year-old.
Duggar, who hit .255/.303/.390 through his first 152 plate appearances this season, suffered the injury while diving back into second base on Tuesday. In addition to the ensuing tear, he also dislocated the shoulder on the dive, further adding to the damage in his non-throwing shoulder. Surgery for Duggar would likely have him ready for the start of the 2019 season, Schulman notes.
The Giants are facing a sizable seven-game deficit in the NL West, where they trail three other teams, and they’ve recently lost Buster Posey to season-ending hip surgery (among a plethora of other team injuries in 2018). But while those factors already made a postseason berth a long shot, the Duggar injury is still a tough one for the organization. The Giants’ hope is that Duggar can step up as their center fielder of the future, and the injury will deprive the organization of further time to evaluate Duggar against big league pitching in Septemeber. Beyond that, there’s concern about lingering effects when any player goes under the knife for this type of surgery.
While Duggar’s numbers at the plate haven’t been especially eye-catching just yet, he did show some extra-base ability (two homers, 11 doubles, one triple) and has undoubtedly impressed both on the bases and with his outfield defense. Duggar excelled in the majority of defensive metrics, turning in a +4 mark in Defensive Runs Saved, a +0.7 Ultimate Zone Rating and being credited for three Outs Above Average by Statcast. He also went 5-for-6 in stolen base attempts and ranked in the top 15 percent of players (min. 150 PAs) in Fangraphs’ BsR metric despite having a fraction of the playing time of many of the players ahead of him.
Duggar was promoted for his Major League debut in early July and, as such, will finish the season well shy of a full year of Major League service and well shy of any reasonable expectations for Super Two status in arbitration. As things currently stand, then, he wouldn’t be eligible for arbitration until after the 2021 season and isn’t on track to reach free agency until the conclusion of the 2024 campaign — at which point he’ll be heading into his age-31 season.