Before the SF Giants game on Tuesday against the San Diego Padres, manager Gabe Kapler scratched infielder Tommy La Stella from the lineup with back tightness. La Stella had been slotted into the leadoff spot against Padres righty Yu Darvish. Wilmer Flores will be starting in place of the left-handed bat.
The Giants signed La Stella to a three-year deal this offseason, making him the largest free-agent signing by the franchise since Farhan Zaidi became the president of baseball operations. La Stella has appeared in three of the Giants’ four games while making one start this far on the season. He has recorded one walk, one double, and no strikeouts across five plate appearances. This spring, the 32-year-old hit .242/.350/.364 with six strikeouts and four walks in 41 plate appearances.
The SF Giants scratched Tommy La Stella from the lineup with back tightness.
Over the past two seasons, La Stella appeared in 135 games with the Los Angeles Angels. He blasted 21 home runs, walked more than he’s struck out (47 walks to 40 strikeouts), and posted a .827 OPS across 549 plate appearances. With the platoon advantage against right-handed pitching, La Stella hit .303/.393/.510.
While the Giants got strong production at second and third base, Evan Longoria, Donovan Solano, and Flores are all right-handed hitters in their thirties with notable platoon splits. Given their age and tendencies, La Stella seemed like an obvious fit to spell them throughout the season. While the injury does not seem severe, the team would lose one of their most versatile pieces if La Stella had to miss extended time.
While it does not seem like a severe injury, the SF Giants will be without infielder Tommy La Stella in the starting lineup on Tuesday. Darvish will face off against Aaron Sanchez. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM Pacific Standard Time.