The SF Giants welcomed back a key contributor in Donovan Solano recently and that move paid immediate dividends. However, another key contributor continues to make progress in his return from the injured list.
SF Giants: Update on Alex Dickerson’s rehab assignment
Alex Dickerson was placed on the injured list earlier this month with a right hamstring strain but he appears to be nearing a return to the major league club. The left-handed bat joined the Sacramento River Cats around the same time as Solano nearly two weeks ago. Interestingly, the Giants already activated Solano but are waiting on Dickerson.
Dickerson has recorded just six hits, including one double, in 29 at-bats during his most recent rehab assignment. He has struggled with the River Cats and the Giants are giving him extra time to get back in a groove. Typically, a prolonged rehab process is an indication that the major league club does not have an open roster spot and that appears to be the case for the veteran outfielder.
After all, Dickerson has struggled with the major league club, slashing .235/.303/.426 (95 OPS+) with 13 home runs, 38 RBI, and 35 runs scored while being worth -0.1 WAR in 304 plate appearances in 2021. This includes a rough .719 OPS in 278 plate appearances against right-handed pitching.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler has leveraged platoon matchups pretty heavily since he was hired back in November of 2019. Dickerson’s role is to be a middle-of-the-order threat against righties but he has not given the Giants the leverage that they desire.
So, the organization has seemingly delayed his return due to a roster crunch. The Giants’ outfield contingent has not produced a lot of value in 2021, but there are better roster fits than Dickerson at the moment.
For example, Steven Duggar has performed well (.827 OPS) since being recalled on September 5. Plus, Duggar provides an above-average glove at a premium position. Similarly, Austin Slater is a quality defender while continuing to handle left-handed pitching well (.836 OPS)
So, it seems like Dickerson is in the odd position of being healthy but continuing to see time at Triple-A as part of his rehab assignment. The 31-year-old began his assignment on September 10 and the Giants have to activate him by September 30.
There are two weeks remaining in the season, so Dickerson should return before then but it seems like it will be in a reduced role. The left-handed bat has struggled in his third season with San Francisco and his hold on a roster spot is not as firm as it once was.
Editor’s note: Alex Dickerson recorded three hits in four at-bats in Tuesday night’s game for the Sacramento River Cats