About halfway through the San Francisco Giants 4-1 loss to the Washington Nationals on Wednesday, outfielder Steven Duggar made a sensational inning-ending defensive play to save at least two runs.
It came at a cost. Duggar immediately grabbed his left shoulder, which he injured near the end of the 2018 season, his first at the MLB level. Duggar underwent season-ending surgery in August, rehabbed through the offseason, and entered spring training healthy, albeit with strict instructions: no diving.
You can’t exactly tell a defense-first outfielder to not dive once the games actually matter, though, and it caught up to Duggar in a bad way. He jogged off the field Wednesday after his highlight play, and never returned.
The team announced Duggar’s injury as a shoulder sprain, and he’ll receive an MRI. But given the history of the injury — and given that Duggar is hitting just .235/.276/.342 this year — it’s safe to say that a trip to the injured list is in the young outfielder’s immediate future.
Steven Duggar sprained his left shoulder. MRI soon.— Kerry Crowley (@KO_Crowley) August 7, 2019
A few other roster notes:
- Pitcher Shaun Anderson is likely following Duggar to the IL. He was dealing with a blister all week, and it popped during his rough outing on Wednesday.
Anderson likely to miss start with a blister on right mid finger. Treated it all week and it popped in second inning. #sfgiants— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) August 7, 2019
Given the number of days between starts for a starting pitcher, even missing one start means a trip to the IL is in the cards. It’s unclear who will make Anderson’s start, but Dereck Rodriguez seems like a good guess. He started for Triple-A Sacramento last night, so he’s on Anderson’s rest schedule.
- Alex Dickerson is not as close to returning as many had hoped, and that’s bad news for the Giants. Here’s the latest, from Schulman and the SF Chronicle:
Dickerson is eligible to return from the injured list Thursday, but he has not even begun swinging a bat and will probably be sent on a short minor-league rehab before he sees another pitch for the Giants.
“He might need a more more days longer than we had hoped,” manager Bruce Bochy said before Wednesday’s game against the Nationals. “He’s making some progress. We’re hoping by the weekend that he’ll be pretty close.”
The Giants are sorely missing Dickerson, whose time on the roster has perfectly coincided with the team’s success. Oblique injuries are unpredictable, but even the best case scenarios for that situation are moot in this case given Dickerson’s overall injury history.
The team has already been playing with just four outfielders — both Brandon Belt and Stephen Vogt received playing time in left field in the series vs. the Nats — so the addition of another outfielder will be all but mandatory.
- Barring some further moves, Chris Shaw is, probably, once again left waiting. After debuting in 2018, the powerful left-handed outfielder (and potentially first baseman) looked like he might have a chance to be a key part of the 2019 team.
He did not make the opening day roster, as the Giants opted for Duggar, Connor Joe, Gerardo Parra, and Michael Reed. Since that time, Shaw has watched as the Giants tried out Aaron Altherr, Tyler Austin, Dickerson, Mike Gerber, Kevin Pillar, Austin Slater, Mac Williamson, and Mike Yastrzemski.
Shaw is slashing .306/.364/.594, with 15 home runs in 228 at-bats for AAA Sacramento this year. If the outfield roster churn continues, his time will come, but you would imagine it’s rather frustrating for the 2015 first-round pick. If nothing else, he’ll likely be in San Francisco in September, since he’s on the 40-man roster.
- The Giants still have a 40-man roster spot open. Conceivably, if they don’t go the Shaw route, they could instead select and call-up Jaylin Davis, acquired in the Sam Dyson deal.
And it appears that that outfielder will be Jaylin Davis. The team has yet to announce any moves, but beat reporter Hank Schulman seemed to report that Davis will be headed to San Francisco. This is perfect timing, as our own Roger and Bryan just discussed Davis in the
Bryan and Roger stat sheet scout Davis in latest episode of Untitled Prospects Podcast with Roger. So check that out and get excited. And here’s what Bryan had to say at the time of the trade.
Davis in particular has a “Raw Power” score of 60, which rates as above average. He also has “50” speed and a “45/50” field raitng, meaning he’s going to be a decent first baseman or corner outfielder perhaps in the Tyler Austin mold. He’s hit 25 home runs already this season across Double-A and Triple-A, with a combined slash of .298/.392/.563.
Davis may not be the best prospect the Giants received — that goes to Mauricio Dubon for now — but he’s MLB ready, and scratches an itch that the Giants haven’t much been able to scratch.
Since joining the Giants organization, here’s how Davis has performed: 10-17, three doubles, two home runs, four walks, and four strikeouts. Is that a hilariously tiny sample size? Of course! But in 41 games with the Twins’ AAA team this year, Davis slashed .331/.405/.708, with 15 home runs in 173 plate appearances. That’s good for a 1.112 OPS.
Power is the name of the game right now, and we’ve seen more than a few mid-tier prospects explode out of nowhere, and have that success translate to the Majors.
At the start of the year, Yordan Alvarez was the seventh-ranked prospect in the Houston Astros (admittedly stacked) farm, per Fangraphs. He was expected to debut in 2020. Now he’s hitting .348/.429/.703 with 14 home runs in 158 plate appearances with the Astros. Pete Alonso was the seventh-ranked prospect in the New York Mets farm prior to the 2018 season, and now he’s one of the best power hitters in the game.
I’m not saying Davis will follow that path, but it’s hardly implausible. And that’s exciting.
Not as exciting as this news, of course:
Ramos, Hjelle, Bart being promoted to Richmond. On their way now. #sfgiants— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) August 8, 2019