The San Francisco Giants are once again struggling offensively. They need breakout slugger Alex Dickerson back from the injured list as soon as possible.
Now he’s on the injured list with a right oblique strain, and the team is struggling to consistently score runs once again.
He is eligible to return to the active roster on Saturday against the Philadelphia Phillies, though it is still unclear whether he will immediately be ready to go.
The inability to score runs is not a new phenomenon for the Giants offense. For a large part of the first half, they struggled mightily at the plate as a group, ranking near the bottom of the league in most offensive stats and holding steady in the NL West cellar.
That is until June 21, the day that Dickerson was called up.
The team was scoring 3.82 runs per game when he was first promoted, according to Baseball-Reference.com, and they had a 31-42 record.
Dickerson went 3-for-5 with a triple, a grand slam and six RBI in his debut in an 11-5 victory, and that proved to be the start of something big.
The team went on to average 5.45 runs per game from the time he debuted through the end of July, going 24-11 in the process to climb back into the wild-card picture.
However, on Aug. 1, the Giants placed the red-hot Dickerson on the disabled list with a right oblique strain.
He was hitting .386/.449/.773 with 10 doubles, three triples, six home runs and 23 RBI in 98 plate appearances over 30 games since joining the San Francisco Giants, before going on the injured list.
It’s no coincident that the team’s offensive production spiked while Dickerson was in the lineup, and it’s also no coincidence that they are averaging just 2.80 runs in five games since he was placed on the injured list.
In a tight wild-card race and with the offense sputtering, the Giants need Dickerson’s bat in the lineup now more than ever. They are counting on him being ready to go this weekend and picking up right where he left off once he returns to action.
Beyond just his individual numbers, one hot bat can often electrify an entire lineup. From a psychological standpoint, a still red-hot Dickerson could work wonders for a San Francisco Giants team gearing up for some incredibly important games against the Phillies.
So for multiple reasons, the San Francisco Giants need to hope that Alex Dickerson is the same player he was before he went on the IL.