2 SF Giants veterans nearing a return, Nick Ahmed suffers a setback

San Francisco Giants vs New York Mets
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The SF Giants sent Michael Conforto, Austin Slater, and Nick Ahmed on a rehab assignment to Sacramento. Both Conforto and Slater are expected to return soon, but Bob Melvin told Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area that Ahmed suffered a bit of a setback.

2 SF Giants veterans nearing a return, Nick Ahmed suffers a setback

All three veterans bring something to the table that could help the Giants. Conforto was one of the Giants' best hitters at the plate before sustaining a hamstring strain. He registered a .280/.331/.490 line with seven home runs, 20 RBI, and 19 runs in 154 plate appearances. This includes a 7.1 percent walk rate, 20.8 strikeout rate, and a .210 ISO.

Losing that production at the plate is tough to replace. That said, Heliot Ramos has filled in nicely, posting a .757 OPS in 88 plate appearances while playing solid defense in left field. With how he has performed, Ramos has earned playing time even if and when the roster returns to full strength.

On the other hand, Luis Matos has struggled badly since winning Player of the Week honors in May. He has a .577 OPS with two home runs and 20 RBI in 82 plate appearances. The 22-year-old outfielder has seen time in center field, but it feels like his roster spot is more vulnerable. One option is to move one of Ramos or Conforto to right field and have Mike Yastrzemski serve as a fourth outfielder.

Austin Slater was in the midst of a brutal stretch before landing on the injured list with a concussion. He has been a solid role player during his time with San Francisco, but the eight-year veteran's struggles at the plate have expanded beyond just this season. Perhaps, the Giants bring him back but there is no clear role for him at the moment.

Lastly, Nick Ahmed's return will seemingly be delayed. The right-handed bat has tallied a .564 OPS in 119 plate appearances while playing solid defense at shortstop. Anything he offered with the bat is a bonus, but the Giants need to get more offense from the lineup.

The Giants' defense at shortstop has taken a noticeable step back since Ahmed landed on the injured list. They have committed 10 errors, which is tied for second in baseball at the shortstop position. Importantly, Giants shortstops have been worth -6 Outs Above Average (OAA) in May. That has largely coincided with Ahmed's absence.

There could still be a role for him as a defensive replacement. Though, the Giants will need to wait a little longer depending on the severity of the setback.