MAY 4: San Francisco has placed La Stella on the IL, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. It’s going to be a long stay on the IL for La Stella, as Kapler said Tuesday he could miss four to six weeks (via Kerry Crowley of the Bay Area News Group). The club recalled infielder Jason Vosler to take La Stella’s roster spot.
MAY 3: The Giants expect to place second baseman Tommy La Stella on the 10-day injured list, manager Gabe Kapler told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle and other reporters on Monday. La Stella strained his left hamstring Sunday.
An IL stint would continue a less-than-ideal start to 2021 for La Stella, whom the Giants signed to a three-year, $18.75MM guarantee in free agency. La Stella earned that contract on the strength of an unexpected offensive outburst from 2019-20, which he divided between the Angels and Athletics. Last season, the 32-year-old batted .281/.370/.449 with five home runs and 27 walks against a mere 12 strikeouts over 228 plate appearances.
La Stella easily led the majors in strikeout percentage (5.8) a year ago, and though the number has climbed to 13.3 this season, that’s still well above average. While La Stella’s triple-slash line has fallen to an underwhelming .235/.297/.353 across 75 trips to the plate, his .359 expected weighted on-base average is far more favorable than his .288 real wOBA and suggests a turnaround could be on the way. That will have to wait, however, now that La Stella is seemingly on his way to the shelf.
La Stella and Donovan Solano have handled almost all of the work at the keystone for San Francisco this season, but the latter has been on the IL with a strained calf since April 21. Reserves Wilmer Flores and Mauricio Dubon, who have experience at second base, look like logical fill-in candidates.