The Giants announced a series of roster moves today, with right-hander Anthony DeSclafani going on the 10-day injured list with right ankle inflammation. Outfielder Steven Duggar is going on the 60-day injured list with an oblique strain. Right-hander Jakob Junis has been recalled to take one of the spots on the active roster, with the other going to outfielder Luis Gonzalez. Gonzalez wasn’t on the 40-man roster, but Duggar’s placement on the 60-day IL has opened a slot for him. (Twitter links from Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle)
Duggar left yesterday’s game with the injury and his placement on the injured list is not surprising. Comments from president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi yesterday made it a certainty. However, there was little indication of Duggar requiring a trip to the 60-day list. “That’s an injury that usually puts a guy on the sidelines for a few weeks,” Zaidi said, prior to Duggar undergoing an MRI. The results of that MRI must have been more serious than anticipated, with Duggar now unable to return before late June.
With Duggar out for an extended stretch, the club will have to figure out a center field replacement, as Duggar started 11 of the club’s first 13 games there. Mauricio Dubon and Austin Slater each took one of the others. Both of them will surely be in the mix, but they are also both right-handed hitters. Since Gonzalez is a lefty, their may be a path for him to earn the strong side of a platoon.
Gonzalez was in the minors with the White Sox last year when he required season-ending shoulder surgery. Since injured players cannot be placed on outright waivers and the team needed a roster spot, they had the choice of either placing him on the 60-day IL or on release waivers. Since the former option would require Gonzalez earning an MLB salary and service time, the White Sox opted for the latter, hoping he would clear and quickly re-sign with the club. However, the Giants claimed him and placed him on the 60-day IL, giving him the pay and service time the White Sox wouldn’t. Although Gonzalez was non-tendered at the end of the year, he seems to have appreciated that gesture from the Giants, as he re-signed with them on a minor league deal. In 11 Triple-A games so far this year, he’s hitting .283 / .389 / .500, 129 wRC +.
As for DeSclafani, he went on the IL with the same ankle inflammation last year, though he only required a minimum 10-day stint before returning. The severity of the injury this time around is not clear, but will be a challenge for the Giants regardless. Alex Cobb was just placed on the IL two days ago, meaning the club’s rotation is now doubly short-handed. Sam Long is taking the ball tonight, though he’s been in the bullpen for the club this year. He last pitched on Tuesday, throwing 25 pitches in relief, meaning he’s unlikely to take on a traditional starter’s workload tonight. Alex Wood, Logan Webb and Carlos Rodon made up the core of the rotation for now, as they try to carry the team to off-days on April 28 and May 2, with Cobb and DeSclafani hopefully able to return after that.