The San Francisco Giants have an approximate timeline for Evan Longoria’s return: mid-May.
A day after the Giants third baseman underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament on his finger, which will need to be immobilized until Opening Day, manager Gabe Kapler said the expectation is that the three-time All-Star will be sidelined for six weeks.
Evan Longoria’s return to play estimate is six weeks, Gabe Kapler said. So…mid-May. Wilmer Flores will be the opening day third baseman.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) March 30, 2022
The Giants have plenty of options to use in Longoria’s absence, with roster locks Wilmer Flores and Tommy La Stella capable of handling the position, and roster hopefuls Mauricio Dubón, Thairo Estrada, Jason Vosler, Jason Krizan, and Luke Williams also able to take on those duties.
But having options doesn’t always mean having good options, and even though the Giants have a stellar track record of cobbling things together, the extended loss of Longoria is likely to sting. If Longo’s performance in 2022 is anything like it was in 2021 — when he had a 1.088 OPS against lefties and a .739 OPS against righties — then he’s not only their best offensive option at third base against left-handers, but probably against right-handers as well ... in addition to being the best defensive option.
In other words, it’s quite a loss. But the Giants are equipped to handle losses, and the oldest position player on the team getting injured shouldn’t be ground-breaking news that they’re left unprepared for.
Thankfully there is some good injury news to offset the bad. Mike Yastrzemski, who left Tuesday’s game with quad tightness, could return to the field this weekend, and we might see Brandon Belt’s spring debut at about the same time.
In better injury news, Mike Yastrzemski (right quad tightness) came in feeling better today and could return to game action this weekend. Brandon Belt (right knee inflammation) will run the bases today and could debut this weekend at 1B or DH.— Maria I. Guardado (@mi_guardado) March 30, 2022
Yaz and Belt being fully healthy sure would go a long way towards offsetting the Opening Day losses of Longoria and LaMonte Wade Jr.