The Giants have placed reliever Jake McGee on the 10-day injured list with a right oblique strain, per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Because the injury placement is backdated to Tuesday when McGee first felt the muscle acting up, he will be available to return to the active roster by September 24 at the earliest.
Not long ago, it would have been scoff-worthy to suggest that McGee would find a role as the nominal closer for the team with the best record in the Majors – but here we are. McGee was one of the Rockies’ ill-fated bullpen signings back in 2017, and by the time that $27MM contract had run its course, McGee had fallen so far out of favor that Colorado released him before the third season was up. The southpaw posted an unfortunate 5.54 ERA over those two seasons in Colorado with unusually high walk and home run rates.
He’s rejuvenated now, however, having performed well for the Dodgers last season before catching on in San Francisco this year. He owns a 2.72 ERA/3.35 FIP across 62 games totaling 59 2/3 innings with an impressive 31 saves. Since leaving Colorado, his walk and home run rates have returned to normal levels – a 4.2 percent walk rate coming in well below the average mark and a 2.9 percent home run rate being exactly league average. McGee is also striking out a solid 24.3 percent of opponents.
Without McGee, the Giants will turn to Tyler Rogers, Tony Watson, and Dominic Leone to close games, writes Slusser. Rogers has played the part already this season, notching 12 saves while appearing in a league-leading 71 games for Gabe Kapler’s club. Leone has been used more as an opener of late, but he’ll be an option from the right side as well. Watson, a trade deadline acquisition this season, can close from the left side, should the match-ups lean that way.
McGee’s roster spot went to Jay Jackson, who was recalled today from Triple-A. Jackson has spent a decent chunk of time on the active roster and begun to earn Kapler’s trust at times. The 33-year-old has pitched in 22 games for a 3.95 ERA across 20 2/3 innings. Given that Jackson had totaled just 34 2/3 innings in the Majors prior to this season, he’s been a pleasant surprise in limited action for the Giants.