3:57PM: Junis has been diagnosed with a more serious Grade 2 strain, The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly reports (Twitter link).
3:08PM: The Giants placed right-hander Jakob Junis on the 15-day injured list due to a left hamstring strain. The injury occurred in last night’s game, as Junis had to be removed after slipping off the mound. Outfielder Heliot Ramos has been called up from Triple-A to take Junis’ spot on the active roster.
More will be known about Junis’ recovery timeline once he undergoes an MRI, but the injury is obviously serious enough that the Giants went ahead with the IL placement even before more tests were conducted on the hamstring. Junis will now miss at least the next 15 days, and potentially longer should the strain prove to be a higher-grade issue.
After signing a one-year, $1.75MM free agent deal with San Francisco in March, Junis has seemingly become the latest pitcher to enjoy a career revival in the Bay Area. Junis posted a 5.36 ERA over 240 innings with the Royals from 2019-21, but has thus far pitched to a 2.63 ERA, 47.8% grounder rate, and a 5.3% walk rate over 48 frames in 2022. Advanced metrics (particularly a .231 BABIP, and a .266 wOBA that is far beneath his .325 xwOBA) indicate that some regression is probably inevitable, but it has nevertheless been a very solid start in terms of bottom-line numbers for the 29-year-old Junis.
This performance has helped stabilize a Giants rotation hurt by injuries, as Alex Cobb and Anthony DeSclafani are both still on the IL and Matthew Boyd has yet to pitch this season. On that front (hat tip to MLB.com’s Maria I. Guardado), Cobb still just in the playing-catch phase as he recovers from a neck strain, while DeSclafani is set to begin a rehab assignment. DeSclafani was moved to the 60-day IL due to ankle inflammation, and can’t be activated until June 21. Boyd underwent flexor tendon surgery back in September and has advanced to the point where he will be facing hitters in a live batting-practice session.
Sam Long was already added to the roster to help out the rotation, and since the Giants have an off-day on June 16, they might be able to manage this lack of a fifth starter until DeSclafani is able to be reinstated. If not, the Giants could turn to a bullpen game, as is the plan for today’s game against the Dodgers.