Since returning from a trip to the injured list, San Francisco Giants outfielder Alex Dickerson has not been the same player offensively.
He was placed on the IL on August 1 with a right oblique strain after playing a major role in the Giants turning around what looked like a lost season.
Prior to his injury, the Giants had gone 20-10 in games where he appeared, and his arrival following a trade with the San Diego Padres proved to be a catalyst for the offense.
During his first 25 games with the team, Dickerson posted a .397 average and 1.280 OPS with 18 extra-base hits including six home runs and 22 RBI in 87 plate appearances. He struck out just 15 times while drawing eight walks en route to a stellar .460 on-base percentage.
That stretch coincided with an 18-7 record that propelled the Giants from last place in the NL West standings to second place, while also vaulting them into the NL wild-card picture.
However, he had been battling back spasms since the middle of July and was finally placed on the injured list with the oblique issue at the end of the month.
He ended up missing 13 games, during which time the Giants went 6-7 while averaging just 3.8 runs per game.
Dickerson finally returned to action on Aug. 14, but he has not looked like the same player who was swinging a red-hot bat. He’s just 1-for-10 with three strikeouts and two walks in five games.
Going back to when he was trying to play through the injury, he’s hitting just .200 with a .554 OPS and one extra-base hit in 23 plate appearances in his last 10 games.
Has he lost the magic?
Not necessarily, but there’s a good chance he’s still trying to play through that oblique injury, which is impacting his ability to swing the bat.
With a right-handed pitcher on the mound on Sunday, the left-handed-hitting Dickerson was on the bench for a scheduled day off. The Giants lost that game 6-1. If he were fully healthy, he almost certainly would have been in the starting lineup for that matchup.
If the San Francisco Giants have any hope of reaching the postseason, Alex Dickerson will need to get back to swinging the bat the way he was prior to his trip to the injured list.