PHOENIX — The Giants expect to be without third baseman Evan Longoria for a “couple weeks,” manager Gabe Kapler said, after an MRI on Monday revealed a Grade 1 strain in his right hamstring.
Longoria, 36, suffered the injury running out a double play ball in the fourth inning of San Francisco’s 4-2 loss Saturday against the Dodgers. When healthy, he’s been one of the Giants’ best bats this season (a line of .243/.331/.459 for an OPS+ of 120) but has missed nearly half of their games so far this season and will now miss more time.
“It can be disheartening,” Kapler said. “When you factor in how much effort and energy Evan puts in to getting ready to play a game for us and then go out and try to beat out a double play and run as hard as he can and strain it … for anybody, but in particular for a guy who works as hard as he does and prepares as well as he does. … I feel for him as a person first.”
La Stella likely active this series
The good news: with Longoria’s absence comes the pending return of Tommy La Stella.
The 33-year-old infielder rejoined the Giants here in Arizona on Monday after a three-game rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento. La Stella has missed the past 15 games since landing on the COVID list July 8, after lingering effects from offseason Achilles surgery forced him to miss most of the first three months of the season.
“Nothing in stone, but there’s a good chance he’ll be active and on the roster in the next few days,” Kapler said.
Despite La Stella’s extended stay on the COVID list, the Giants declined to share his test results. On Monday, La Stella said he didn’t “want to get into specifics” about it.
More time for Crawford
Brandon Crawford is eligible to be activated Tuesday, but the Giants will have to wait a little longer to get their shortstop back from his second stint on the injured list this season (and fourth of his career).
Crawford received a cortisone injection last Sunday that he hopes will help the inflammation in his left knee stemming from an awkward slide into home plate in Atlanta last month. On Sunday, he took ground balls for the first time since the shot, and on Monday began his running progression.
“The goal with Craw when we bring him off the IL is to have him be as twitchy and athletic as he can possibly be,” Kapler said. “I don’t expect it to be tomorrow. … He’s only going to be satisfied with performance like he had last year. That’s the bar for him. We want to support him in getting there. So, right now the emphasis of his work is first, pain free. Second, athleticism and explosiveness.”
To conclude these updates on Longoria, La Stella and Crawford, a reminder that the Giants’ projected starting infield (including first baseman Brandon Belt) has appeared in the same lineup three times this season (May 16, June 17, June 21)— and never in the field together.
- Catcher Curt Casali (left oblique strain), who has been out since July 5, is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento on Wednesday.
- Left-handed pitcher Matthew Boyd (flexor tendon), made an appearance in the clubhouse here, where he continued his rehab from offseason surgery and the setback he had last month. On Sunday, Boyd threw a 20-pitch bullpen in his first work off a mound since he felt discomfort during a live batting practice session.