The SF Giants are nearly at full strength and one more key veteran is taking the next step in his rehab process. On Thursday, Evan Longoria began his rehab assignment with the Sacramento River Cats, recording one hit in three at-bats.
SF Giants: Key veteran begins rehab assignment
Team president of baseball operations went on KNBR before Longoria’s assignment began and indicated that the rehab process would likely not take long. He added that Longoria, historically, has not needed a lot of repetitions to get his timing back.
In Longoria, the Giants would add yet another key veteran back to the roster. This past week, both Tommy La Stella (hamstring) and Brandon Belt (knee) returned from their respective rehab assignments.
Before his injury, Longoria was making an impact at the plate and in the field. In 186 plate appearances, he registered a .280/.376/.516 line (139 OPS+) with nine home runs, 45 runs scored, and 30 RBI while being worth 1.5 WAR.
In some seasons, the right-handed bat has been very aggressive at the plate, whereas he has been more selective in other seasons. In 2021, Longoria has been more of the latter as he has posted a 13.4 percent walk rate against a 22.6 percent strikeout rate.
If the 35-year-old had not sustained the shoulder injury, he would have been in the mix for a National League All-Star nod. Longoria injured his shoulder in a game against the Chicago Cubs after colliding with shortstop Brandon Crawford as both players were attempting to field a ground ball in the bottom of the ninth.
Shortly thereafter, the veteran third baseman was placed on the 10-day injured list and then transferred to the 60-day injured list when it became apparent he would miss at least two months. Longoria is close to returning as he has appeared in two games with the River Cats, collecting one hit in six at-bats. The results are not nearly as important as the fact that he is healthy and ready to contribute again.
The Giants roster will look different when Longoria returns. After all, the team has played short-handed for much of this season. Now, they are seemingly flush with versatile, productive players, Hopefully, this means that the Giants can give each player extra rest to avoid injuries down the stretch while putting the best team on the field to win.