In the latest edition of the Mysterious Case of the Travelling Duggar, the SF Giants recalled outfielder Steven Duggar after placing Austin Slater on the IL with a groin strain.
Just as Austin Slater was gearing up to return to the outfield after dealing with a minor elbow injury, the SF Giants right fielder strained his left groin while running the bases in the team’s 6-2 victory over on Friday. The team recalled outfielder Steven Duggar from the alternate site to take his spot.
While Slater has been a part of the Giants outfield rotation for the last few years, it seemed like he’d become a new player in 2020. In 59 plate appearances, Slater was slashing .347/.458/.653 with 4 home runs. He was also showing a tremendous acumen on the basepaths, recording a league-leading 6 stolen bases.
This injury may be concerningly reminiscent of 2017 for some Giants fans. At that time, Slater was making a solid (albeit less exceptional) impression. However, after getting off to a strong start in his first taste of big-league action, Slater sustained a right groin strain that cost him a substantial amount of time. It took him over a year to return to his previous level of success.
While Slater works to maintain his improvements in rehab, Duggar returns to the active roster for the 4th time on the season. In 2020, Duggar has hit just .105/.150/.158 across 20 plate appearances. Over his career, Duggar has played in 122 games, received 453 plate appearances, scored 49 runs, driven in 47, and managed a .235/.280/.349 triple-slash.
Duggar’s bat has always been the biggest question, but he’s a strong baserunner and defensive outfielder. While the team will miss Slater’s offense, he’s played solid defense in right field when healthy. Veterans like Hunter Pence haven’t faired as well.
Given the team’s defensive struggles and strong offensive performance, Duggar’s defense should compensate for his weaknesses at the plate.