The San Francisco Giants currently have two players on the 10-day Injured List.
And to that I say: Get used to it, bub.
This is the new normal for the Giants. In Farhan Zaidi’s calculated world, the Giants will manipulate the living heck out of the Injured List.
Don’t think for a second that Derek Holland and Erik Kratz - the two casualties of the IL - are injured.
Look no further than Holland. After pitching six games to start the season, Holland was sent to the land of the IL for an injury the team claimed was sustained before the season even started.
On the day that Tyler Beede took his spot in the rotation, Holland pitched a simulated game, which, from an innings standpoint, was longer than Beede’s outing. The thought of a starting pitcher being placed on the 10-day IL, then pitching a simulated game on their scheduled start day, then hopping back into the rotation, makes me giggle.
I’m guessing it makes Zaidi giggle, too. I’m guessing he’s eating popcorn, smiling with amusement when Rob Manfred does whatever it is that soulless millionaires do as they plot to ruin great things.
But Beede had forced the issue, with his 1.99 ERA, 2.99 FIP, and 13.50 strikeouts per nine innings in AAA Sacramento. And it made sense to manipulate the IL and get Beede some time with the squad.
Mike Gerber forced the issue as well, with his .357/.402/.655 slash line in Sacramento. And as he came, Erik Kratz went, to the lovely land of the IL, where ballplayers get to live the most charmed existence: Still watching the game from the dugout, still with an endless supply of bubble gum and sunflower seeds, but not having to do any work.
Kratz was officially listed as having a strained hamstring, which . . . come on. First off, I’m not convinced catchers actually need or use hamstrings, and second off, just look at that Gerber slash line again: .357/.402/.655.
That will strain a lot of players’ hamstrings, magically.
Of course, the logistical puzzle of the roster will get interesting when Holland and Kratz return, but we’ll see Zaidi fiddling with the Rubik’s Cube that is the roster non-stop all year long. Other players will force the issue - Mac Williamson, perhaps? Shaun Anderson? An overlooked player the Giants trade a few dollars for? - and as they do, more and more Giants will visit the mystical land of the 10-day IL. It will be Yangervis Solarte one day, and Pablo Sandoval the next. Drew Pomeranz may get a stint and Brandon Crawford may take the mini-vacay.
Zaidi will look for pieces that can stick. He’ll look for bursts that make a player more tradeable. He’ll look to suppress playing time for a struggling player to maintain whatever semblance of trade value they have.
It’s the new normal around these parts.