SF Giants: INF Tommy La Stella “likely” headed to IL

SF Giants, Tommy La Stella

Mar 21, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; SF Giants infielder Tommy La Stella (18) hits a single in the third against the Los Angeles Dodgers during a Spring Training game at Camelback Ranch, Glendale. (Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports)

The SF Giants received some unfortunate news this weekend, as one of their key infielders will likely hit the injured list on Tuesday. Giants manager Gabe Kapler confirmed that Tommy La Stella sustained a left hamstring strain scoring from third base on a groundball in Sunday’s 7-1 victory and will likely need an extended break from the team.

Before he crossed home plate during Sunday’s game against the San Diego Padress, La Stella was visibly in pain and limping. He avoided an injury earlier in the game after jamming his thumb while diving for a baseball. Prior to leaving the game, he notched two hits in three at-bats with two runs and two RBI.

SF Giants: Infielder Tommy La Stella “likely” headed for injured list.

La Stella signed a three-year, $19 million contract with San Francisco in the offseason and the Giants expect him to be a key cog. The left-handed bat has slashed .235/.297/.353 (83 OPS+) with one home run and five RBI across 75 plate appearances while seeing the bulk of his playing time at second base.

No timetable has been given for his return, so it seems possible that La Stella’s stay on the injured list could extend beyond the minimum, 10-day period. As a team, the Giants’ infield depth is beginning to be tested. Donovan Solano is currently on the injured list with a calf strain and no recent update has been provided regarding his status. Furthermore, Brandon Crawford sat out the past two games with a bruised calf.

To complicate matters further, Evan Longoria battled a plantar fasciitis issue in spring training. La Stella, who is capable of playing third base, was supposed to enable Kapler to give the former Tampa Bay Rays star more rest at the hot corner. Instead, he’s been forced to play nearly evreyday.

If the Giants need to make a roster move, both Jason Vosler and Thairo Estrada are already on the 40-man roster and travelling with the team on the taxi squad. Vosler has already made his big-league debut with San Francisco earlier this season, while Estrada has extensive big-league experience with the Yankees. Both are capable of playing second base, though Vosler is a natural third baseman and Estrada has primarily played shortstop.

The SF Giants depth will be tested once again early in the 2021 season after Tommy La Stella suffered a left hamstring strain. Young players like Jason Vosler and Thairo Estrada could be in line for an extended big-league look in La Stella’s absence.