Dickerson’s recent limp bat appears to be the result of an oblique strain, necessitating a trip to the 10-day injured list. This is a huge loss to the lineup and depending on the severity of the strain — the team says it’s “mild” — could be a big blow to the rest of Dickerson’s year.
Typical recovery time
While some mild oblique strains can be resolved in just a few days, severe strains can require surgery with a recovery time of 3-4 months. In 2017, former Dodgers athletic trainer Stan Conte of Conte Injury Analytics teamed with the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City and Major League Baseball to further examine the impact of oblique strains on injured MLB players. Using MLB’s Health and Injury Tracking System (HITS), the study ultimately revealed that hitters typically take 27 days to recover from a Grade 1 strain, while pitchers typically take as many as 35 days.
In the Chronicle’s report of it being a mild strain, it says that the team believes the strain — which, remember, is a tear — is the result of his back spasms. Injuries have been just as big a part of Dickerson’s career as has been his power, so it’s not surprising to see him derailed after such a strong here. Something like this will always be a part of the equation.
But the Dickerson transaction begat two others: the selection of Sam Selman to the roster and the DFA of Dan Winkler, the latter of whom the Giants had just traded for yesterday in the Mark Melancon deal.
Sam Selman has been dominating batters at Triple-A, striking out 65 and walking just 13 in 40 innings. He’s allowed just 17 hits there, including three home runs in a league where every team mascot has at least five. Because the Giants didn’t trade Smith or Watson, figure him to slide into that Drew Pomeranz swing man / multi-inning role for now.
The move also means that Selman can’t be dealt in August. I bring that up because although the new hard trade deadline removes August waiver transactions from the equation, the new rules don’t negate August trades entirely. Players who do not have major league deals can be traded. In other words, Selman might’ve been a trade chip — and a good one. That’s just something to think about. Also, read Doug’s interview with Selman.
The Giants still have plenty of relievers who could be useful depth pieces to a contender, and they could trade them in exchange for another minor leaguer who’s not on another team’s 40-man roster. So, bone up on your non-40 man prospects, everyone.
Finally, RHP Dan Winkler came over in that Melancon trade, and now the Giants are going to try to do what they did at the end of Spring Training with Mac Williamson, Steven Okert, Jose Lopez, Alen Hanson, and Tom Murphy — use the hustle and bustle of roster churn across the league to try and sneak a player through waivers and add him back to the organization as a depth piece.
Winkler is 29 and the Giants are already his third organization. After a solid 2018 (3.43 ERA / 2.76 FIP in 60.1 IP), he’s fallen off remarkably in 2019 (4.98 ERA / 5.85 FIP in 21.2 IP). Winkler’s stuff isn’t overpowering (92 mph 4-seam fastball), but he has above average spin rates. Maybe a team claims him, but it’s a good gamble, and wholly besides the point of the Mark Melancon trade, which, of course, was all about clearing his salary.
The Giants will miss Dickerson. Here’s hoping they can find some workarounds in his absence. It probably means that Scooter Gennett’s arrival on Friday does not automatically mean that Joe Panik loses a roster spot, as Gennett has played left field before.