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San Francisco Giants: September return possible for Austin Slater

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 23: Austin Slater #53 of the San Francisco Giants hits a double against the New York Mets during the fourth inning at AT&T Park on June 23, 2017 in San Francisco, California. The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 11-4. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 23: Austin Slater #53 of the San Francisco Giants hits a double against the New York Mets during the fourth inning at AT&T Park on June 23, 2017 in San Francisco, California. The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 11-4. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Injuries have kept the San Francisco Giants from auditioning some of their top prospects, but according to KNBR Giants beat writer Kerry Crowly, manager Bruce Bochy indicated that Austin Slater could be back sooner than expected.

"“On Friday afternoon, Giants manager Bruce Bochy offered updates on the franchise’s injured prospects, and was most optimistic about Slater, who has resumed baseball activities.“The one that’s probably making the most progress, or the fastest progress, is Slater,” Bochy said. “This month? I think that’s a long shot, close though. I’d say the early part of September.”"

Slater has been out since July 7 with a right hip flexor strain, which was originally believed to be season-ending. Slater impressed with the big league club, as hit .290 in just over a month with the Giants.

If Slater can get playing time before the end of the season, it would be significant. The Giants are looking forward to next season, and they want to audition the players who they know can make an impact next year. Slater is likely one of the leading candidates to start in centerfield on opening day next season with Denard Span moving to left.

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The Giants also hope to get Christian Arroyo and Tyler Beede some playing time in September but according to Crowly, there does not seem to be much progress.

"“As for Arroyo and Beede, Bochy said that Arroyo has yet to resume baseball activities and the Giants are unsure whether Beede will recover from his injury in time to pitch again this season.”"

Arroyo, who hit .192 in his stint with the Giants earlier this season, hopes to be the every-day third-baseman next year. Arroyo has been sidelined with a fractured left hand since July 1, when it was hit for the second time in just over two weeks.

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Beede, who has struggled with a 4.79 ERA in Triple-A Sacramento, figures to be in competition for a spot in next year’s starting rotation.

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