The Giants reinstated third baseman Evan Longoria prior to this afternoon’s matchup with the Rockies. He’s at the hot corner and hitting third against Colorado starter Chad Kuhl in his season debut. In a corresponding move, reliever Jake McGee has been placed on the 15-day injured list due to lower back tightness.
Longoria underwent surgery to repair a ligament tear in his right index finger late in Spring Training. That procedure wound up costing him the first five weeks of the regular season, and the Giants have patched third base together in his absence. Five different players have started multiple games there for San Francisco, with Wilmer Flores and Jason Vosler picking up the bulk of the time. The group has acquitted themselves quite well, with Giants’ third basemen combining for a .277/.330/.436 slash line that translates to a 120 wRC+ (indicating offensive productivity 20 percentage points above the league average). That ranks 13th among the league’s 30 teams.
San Francisco is off to another nice start. Their 18-12 record is unsurprisingly short of last season’s 107-win pace, but it’s still the fifth-best mark in the National League. The entire NL West has come out of the gates well, though, and the Giants sit a few games behind the Dodgers and Padres in the division standings.
Longoria was a big part of the team’s incredible 2021 campaign. The veteran hit .261/.351/.482, improbably rebounding from four straight pedestrian seasons with a bounceback year at age 35. A shoulder injury kept the three-time All-Star to playing in exactly half the team’s games, but that marked Longoria’s best production on a rate basis during his time in the Bay Area.
McGee was also a pivotal player in last year’s success. The left-hander tossed 59 2/3 innings of 2.72 ERA ball, saving 31 games in the process. It was a continuation of the strong work he’d shown in the shortened 2020 season with the Dodgers, but he’s scuffled in the early going this year. McGee has been tagged for 12 runs in his first 10 1/3 frames, striking out just six batters on a personal-low 8.4% swinging strike rate. The team hasn’t provided a timetable for his return.