The SF Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi gave reporters some injury updates on Brandon Belt, Austin Slater, Heliot Ramos, and Alexander Canario.
In a Zoom press conference with reporters today, SF Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi gave updates on a number of injured players in the organization. According to Zaidi, outfielders Austin Slater and Heliot Ramos are on schedule to easily be healthy by Spring Training, while Alexander Canario will be out for the entirety of preseason play. However, Zaidi was noncommittal on the status of first baseman Brandon Belt, saying “It depends on his recovery.”
Belt underwent surgery to remove bone spurs in his foot following the 2020 season. Belt undeniably posted a resurgent 2020. Belt finished the year with career highs in batting average (.309), on-base percentage (.425), and slugging percentage (.591).
Canario and Ramos each ranked among the Giants top-four prospects in our most recent farm system prospect rankings and each spent the year at the team’s alternate site in Sacramento and then in Arizona playing in the instructional league. Ramos strained his oblique early in instructional league play, while Canario underwent shoulder surgery for a torn labrum in the final week.
Ramos reached Double-A in 2019 and could possibly make his MLB debut in 2021 with a strong season. Canario was not close to reaching the majors but is eligible for the Rule 5 draft this offseason and now San Francisco must decide whether to add him to the 40-man roster without much certainty on how he’ll recover from major surgery on his non-throwing shoulder.
The news that Slater is expected to be fully back for Spring Training is significant, given his complicated arbitration decision. Slater looked like he was finally having a breakout season at 27-years old, hitting .282/.408/.506 with eight stolen bases. However, the oft-injured corner outfielder once again was bit by the injury bug when he injured the flexor tendon in his right arm. Unable to throw, Slater was limited to DH for the remainder of the season.
With big offseason decisions coming the SF Giants way, the injury status of two of their best hitters in 2020 and two of their top prospects going forward remain a huge deal. While injuries and their rehab timelines can always change in an instant, it’s good to know that Heliot Ramos, Brandon Belt, and Austin Slater have a good shot to be ready by the start of Spring Training.