A key bat is set to return soon for the SF Giants as Tommy La Stella is beginning a rehab assignment starting on Tuesday night. The veteran infielder sustained a left hamstring strain that has kept him on the shelf for the past six weeks.
SF Giants: Tommy La Stella begins rehab assignment
La Stella sustained the injury against the San Diego Padres on May 2, 2021, and had to be removed from that game. The Giants originally placed him on the 10-day injured list, hoping that he could return within four to six weeks, but they eventually transferred him to the 60-day injured list.
This transaction removed him from the 40-man roster and prevents him from returning to game action before July 2, 2021. When he is healthy, the Giants will need to add him back to the 40-man roster and make a corresponding 40-man roster move at that time.
The injury was a tough break for the 32-year-old as he was in the midst of one of his better games since signing a three-year, $19.5 million contract with the Giants in the offseason. In that game, the left-handed bat recorded two hits, including a triple, and two RBI.
On the year, La Stella struggled in a relatively small sample of 75 plate appearances, slashing .235/.297/.353 with three doubles, one triple, and one home run with five RBI.
When the Giants signed him, they were hoping to get a versatile player who could hit atop the lineup against right-handed pitching. That has been his primary role ever since he debuted with the Atlanta Braves back in 2014.
With Evan Longoria at third base and a pair of right-handed bats in Donovan Solano and Wilmer Flores at second base, it was easy to envision La Stella carving out a significant role with the Giants in 2021. He still could be a significant contributor, especially considering that he is only a couple of weeks ago.
In the meantime, the left-handed bat will report to Sacramento to begin his rehab assignment. He cannot be activated until the beginning of July, so he will get plenty of at-bats to get his timing down before he returns. When he does return, he will bolster the Giants’ infield depth considerably.