Giants outfielder Austin Slater has suffered a strained hamstring, manager Gabe Kapler told reporters, including Evan Webeck of Mercury News. It’s not known yet how this injury affects Slater’s status for Opening Day, now just 12 days away. Slater’s injury is another blow to the Giants’ outfield depth chart, with Mitch Haniger already recovering from an oblique strain and in doubt for Opening Day himself.
Haniger and Slater have not been officially ruled out of Opening Day, so it remains possible that both could feature. Yet should both miss time, the team’s depth in the outfield would take a bit of a hit. Joc Pederson, Michael Conforto and Mike Yastrzemski would likely line up as the starting three outfielders, likely opening up the DH spot for another option, such as J.D. Davis.
This development could also open the door for non-roster invitee Stephen Piscotty to make the team out of camp as a bench outfielder. The former Athletic and Cardinal has had a solid spring, slashing .333/.391/.476 going into Saturday’s games. It’s been a few seasons since he was an above-average MLB player, but he could give the Giants a solid veteran option until Slater and/or Haniger return. Rule 5 pick Blake Sabol might’ve been another option for the Giants as he spent time in the outfield in the minors, but it’s been reported that they view him as strictly a catcher.
Slater, 30, slashed .264/.366/.408 with seven home runs for the Giants last season. He appeared in 125 games last season, largely handling center field but also spending time in the corners. The signings of Conforto and Haniger looked set to relegate him to a bench role this season, but the latter’s oblique strain had initially made him a good chance to start on Opening Day.
Wilmer the Thrillmer
Bryce Johnson has had an amazing spring so far. He plays center and might be an option.
Could see him making the team as a defensive replacement and pinch runner to start the season.
Wilmer the Thrillmer
Trading for Aaron Hicks is another possibility. The Yankees would love to shed his salary.
Slater is out for a few weeks. There is a better chance of the Giants trading for Carlos Correa than for Aaron Hicks.
Yankees would like to get rid of Hicks. Maybe Sabean (thru Cashman) finds a way to oversell Hicks’ value and stick it to Zaidi.
The last player Sabean ‘oversold’ was Bryan Reynolds.
Manny is right. Hicks’ value is low, so the Yanks aren’t getting much of anything for him. He’s worth more to them on their roster than what they can get for him in trade. In the improbable event that Zaidi acquired Hicks, rest assured that the return would be minimal.
EBJ, Trading Reynolds was a Bobby Evans transaction.
stick exactly what to Zaidi? That he didn’t give up first round picks for signing someone like Michael Tucker?
They should attempt to acquire Stanton and his monstrous contract for Webb, Doval, and Luciano.
You should attempt to protect your credibility more because when you make statements like this you lose all of it
I hope you’re kidding.
Sabean would be laughing if Zaidi is dumb enough to make that trade.
@Oldfart Apparently not old enough to realize you’re not a comedian.
Olddfrt, Are you old enough to remember that Stanton already vetoed a trade to Giants. That NTC is still intact.
With Bader out the Yankees have their own issues in center.
You have a better chance of the Giants activating Kapler to play CF
We have bad luck with Aaron’s from the Yanks.
So.. no thanx.
Johnson is starting in center today and Sabol in left. Good chance they both make the club….Sabol is pretty much already a lock…and see time in the OF. Wisely is also an option, especially if Crawford’s knee issue lingers.
Crawford doing baseball stuff today apparently. Fingers crossed.
Slater has me nervous. Website says he is off for a calf scan as well. Tightness. Hope he doesn’t have some wider nerve thing going on.
And Piscotty hasn’t been sighted in a game since the 12th. Wonder what’s going on there.
Yeah, he’s not on the injury report but I read somewhere that he was dealing with something. Don’t remember what but I think it was a muscle thing.
And he’s not a CF.
Wisely in center today.
Under no circumstances should Joc start in the outfield. It may be that the Giants don’t intend to use Sabol in the OF, but his bat is real and, if only for a short time, he certainly fits if SF expects to play Joey Bart against Gerrit Cole.
I also think Bryce Johnson’s speed and his base-running are so strong that he might get the call in center. If he can hit—even .260 with a solid OBP—he makes too much sense. The Giants would finally have a legit leadoff hitter.
Yeah, I agree Pete. It’s hard to believe that the Giants’ first option would be Joc, as the article implies. The way FZ went after OFers this offseason, suggests to me he doesn’t want Joc out there. I’d rather see Wade out there with Wilmer at 1B.
I can understand their reluctance to play Sabol in the OF, at least everyday. It makes sense if they really see him as a catcher. Catchers that wind up in the OF usually aren’t good catchers.
I wouldn’t mind either Haniger or Slater starting the season on the IL, with Johnson, or maybe Piscotty filling in. I think being sure these guys are healthy is more important than having them for opening day.
I’m hoping Johnson. Piscotty really has no upside and certainly can’t play CF.
Mike Tauchman for Saul Bautista (DSL. OF)
Who says no?
Probably the Cubs. With Suzuki out for at least the first month, Tauchman is (unfortunately) likely their everyday RF.
That’s really depressing. It’s hard to believe Tauchman is still even in baseball much less on a major league roster.
This one belongs to the Reds
I got a bad hammy too. But no one cares but me.
Next there will be a story about a guy in spring training slipping in the shower.
These days I can pull a hammy stepping off the curb.
As long as Haniger is ready Slater is just 4th outfield option. If he is out they still have Wade, Sabol, or Joc in a pinch to fill in. Yaz will need to play everyday and they will be fine.
This is a poorly researched article.
Wade Jr is there for OF depth. Estrada can play the OF; with the supply of infielders on the 40 man roster they can back fill if Thairo goes out to the grass.
Not ideal but Ramos and Matos are on the 40 man roster (Piscotty is not) and they can help out while Slater convalesces.
Then there’s Sabol. He’s spent the majority of his time in the OF last season while in the minors. He’s also hitting very well this spring. The reference to him being viewed only as a catcher is a month old; SF has changed their view and he’s played more on the grass this spring.
Lastly, Joc is now viewed as an emergency OF given his horrible play there last season.
Your on it Dave !
Davis can also play left.
I think there is plenty of depth on the 40 man before having to add.
They do need to keep Sabol after what he has shown, his rule 5 status, and his versatility.
my fear, if they are more than 5 out early they won’t recover
Matos is intriguing, Ramos unfortunately has a better chance of being released than seeing any meaningful time in the big leagues
Somebody’s opportunity is knocking.