The SF Giants caught many off guard on Tuesday when they announced that ace starting pitcher Kevin Gausman had been placed on the injured list. Top catching prospect Joey Bart was recalled to replace Gausman on the active roster. While many are rightfully concerned, Bay Area News Group Giants beat writer Kerry Crowley speculated that, “Gausman is probably on the COVID IL following a vaccine shot.”
Gausman had been dealing with a blister issue throughout spring training, but it has not appeared to have any impact on his performance in the early part of the season. Through six starts, he has completed 39.2 innings, struck out 40, walked 11, surrendered 25 hits, and recorded a 2.04 ERA (3.24 FIP). If he did have to miss an extended period of time, it would obviously be a huge blow to the Giants rotation.
The SF Giants placed RHP Kevin Gausman on the IL and recalled C Joey Bart.
Of course, Bart was the second overall selection in the 2018 MLB draft and made his big-league debut with the Giants last season after Buster Posey opted-out and the organization’s two other options (Tyler Heineman and Chadwick Tromp) struggled mightily. Bart, however, did not quickly acclimate to MLB competition. He hit .233/.288/.320 with 41 strikeouts and just 3 walks in 111 plate appearances.
Even after struggling last year, Bart is ranked the third-best prospect in the organization and is on many top-100 prospect lists entering the 2021 season. He remains Posey’s heir apparent in San Francisco and still has the potential to offer impact power in the lineup and defense behind the plate. However, assuming Gausman will only miss a couple of days on the COVID-IL, Bart will likely be optioned back to Triple-A Sacramento shortly.
The SF Giants placed RHP Kevin Gausman on the injured list on Tuesday and recalled top prospect C Joey Bart. With a double-header in Colorado, Bart could receive a start behind the plate to give Buster Posey a break or just be in town as an emergency catcher until Gausman returns.