Giants infielder Tommy La Stella’s minor league rehab assignment has been delayed due to a new injury, as MLB.com’s Maria I. Guardado (Twitter link) was among to report that La Stella suffered a small fracture in his throwing hand. La Stella jammed his thumb while taking grounders, resulting in the fracture, and he will now be shut down for two weeks before restarting baseball activities.
This setback will extend what has already been a lengthy absence for La Stella, who went on the 10-day injured list (and was eventually moved to the 60-day IL) due to a left hamstring strain back on May 4. This IL stint was nearing an end, as he had just started his rehab games before suffering his thumb injury. La Stella’s earliest possible return date now looks to be July 16, the Giants’ first game after the All-Star break, though even that date is likely tentative given the sometimes tricky nature of hand-related injuries.
The Giants made a notable investment in La Stella during the offseason, inking the veteran to a three-year, $18.75MM deal that stands as the club’s priciest free agent contract since Farhan Zaidi became president of baseball operations. While many of Zaidi’s other moves have worked out extremely well for the first-place Giants, La Stella has yet to get out of the blocks this season, as he was hitting only .235/.297/.353 over his first 75 plate appearances.
That small sample size aside, however, the 32-year-old La Stella has been an above-average hitter for much of his career, and he’ll represent a boost to San Francisco’s depth when he is able to get back onto the field. La Stella had played only second and third base for the Giants prior to his injury, though with Brandon Belt facing a potentially lengthy IL absence, La Stella might eventually be worked into the first base mix.