The San Francisco Giants have placed second baseman, Joe Panik on the DL with a torn ligament in his thumb. Now it’s up to newly recalled Alen Hansen, and Kelby Tomlinson to pick up the load while he’s out. Can they carry the load?
The San Francisco Giants Taxi Squad is getting larger and larger, as more and more people end up on the DL for short little things. Hunter Pence is on the DL, and will likely come back sometime next week, Mac Williamson is eligible to come back to the team on Tuesday since he was placed on the Concussion DL retroactively. Mark Melancon was recently moved to the 60 Day DL retroactively as well, to make roster room for Alen Hanson, while Joe Panik was also placed on the DL.
According to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Panik could be out a while as he has a torn ligament in his thumb. Here is what he had to say about the injury:
"Bochy said Panik will get a second opinion before deciding between surgery and rehab.Either way, Panik’s recovery probably will be measured in months, not weeks."
Some cause for concern going forward? It could be. Joe Panik was the Giants’ best hitter through the first week of the year, but has since slowed down. Now, he’s potentially going to be out for a while. That means, we have Kelby Tomlinson and Alen Hanson for that time period (unless they plug in Austin Slater who has played in the infield before).
Kelby has always been “fine” defensively, but he’s not really a gold glove caliber defender. Hanson is intriguing as we just haven’t seen a whole lot from him yet. But he does bring a TON of speed to the game, and a nice plate approach.
We wrote up a profile on him on Friday. Here is what one of our own had to say about him:
"Hanson has experience at several positions, and the Giants are using him primarily as the second basemen in Triple-A. He has the type of versatility for a utility role, and he is a speedy, switch-hitter. He is essentially the Swiss Army Knife that every team seeks out."
Hanson will certainly become the backup infielder, and be the utility guy that Kelby was, while Kelby becomes the every day second basemen. But if Hanson continues to perform well, there is a decent chance that the Giants end up playing Hanson, as his speed is a pain in the rear to deal with.
We know what we’re getting with Kelby though, and he’s been good to start of the year, hitting .306 so far with in his 36 at bats. Kelby has done well in extended relief of Panik before, if you harken back to how well he filled in for him in 2015 and 2016 when he went down with injuries.
I think the Giants are going to be just fine without Panik. It will take guys like Brandon Belt, and Buster Posey to stay hot, but the ability is there for the Giants to not miss Panik as much as they would’ve in years past. Let’s see if that opinion holds true.