Key SF Giants outfielder suffers setback in return from injury

Oakland Athletics v San Francisco Giants
Oakland Athletics v San Francisco Giants / Suzanna Mitchell/San Francisco Giants/GettyImages

The SF Giants were hoping to have Mike Yastrzemski back soon, but that appears to be on hold. According to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area, the veteran outfielder suffered a setback as he was ramping up baseball activities.

Key SF Giants outfielder suffers setback in return from injury

Pavlovic notes that he has been shut down for now. No timetable for his return has been announced. It is a tough blow as the Giants were hoping to get back not only a quality bat, but an excellent glove at a premium position.

With Luis Matos being optioned on Monday, the Giants will be leaning heavily on Austin Slater, Wade Meckler, and Heliot Ramos to hold down center field. All three are capable of doing so, but each one has spent more time at either corner outfield spot in 2023.

It has been a frustrating year for Yastrzemski. When he is healthy, the left-handed bat is slashing .233/.314/.439 (105 OPS+) with 11 home runs, 32 RBI, and 43 runs in 285 plate appearances. This includes a solid 10.2 percent walk rate against a 26.0 percent strikeout rate.

The Giants have been in the midst of an awful stretch at the plate that has spanned multiple months. While Yastrzemski's numbers do not jump off of the page, he would have represented a boost to the lineup. Michael Conforto is warming up, but the rest of the outfield contingent has struggled at the plate.

Yastrzemski is also a quality glove in the outfield. He has been worth +3 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and +1 Outs Above Average (OAA) in center field this season. Since he went on the injured list, it is hard to ignore that the outfield defense has taken a noticeable step back.

Joc Pederson has seen more time in left field than he should and Matos has had some growing pains in the outfield that are not uncommon with a rookie. Yastrzemski helps to stabilize that.

Of course, staying on the field has been tough for the five-year veteran. He has made three, separate stints to the injured list due to the nagging hamstring injury. Unfortunately, that same ailment will keep him on the shelf for now.