The SF Giants welcomed back a familiar face on Wednesday as the roster inches closer to returning to full strength. However, it came at the expense of a struggling reliever in Jake McGee, who hit the injured list with lower back tightness.
SF Giants activate Evan Longoria and place Jake McGee on the IL
Longtime third baseman Evan Longoria was activated (finger) on Wednesday and made his 2022 debut against the Colorado Rockies in a 7-1 victory. Giants manager Gabe Kapler recently hinted that the veteran infielder was set to return soon.
Longoria recorded five hits in 18 at-bats during his rehab assignment with the Sacramento River Cats. On Wednesday, he collected five hitless at-bats while batting third in the lineup as the Giants swept the Rockies in convincing fashion.
The Giants have struggled mightily with the glove at third base in Longoria's absence, so his return should bring some stability at a key position.
The 36-year-old infielder has been the victim of some bad luck that has kept him off of the field in recent seasons. For example, Longoria sustained a shoulder injury after colliding with shortstop Brandon Crawford while both were attempting to field a ground ball last June.
This kept him on the shelf for an extended leave as he was only able to appear in 81 games in 2021. That said, when he was in the lineup, the right-handed bat provided a potent bat, slashing .261/.351/.482 (122 OPS+) with 13 home runs, 46 RBI, and 45 runs in 291 plate appearances.
His most notable moment of the season came in the NLDS when he blasted a solo shot in Game 3 of the NLDS to secure the 1-0 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers, which gave the Giants the 2-1 advantage in the series. The Giants did not win that series but they put up a good fight as the underdog.
The hope is that the longtime third baseman can add some length to the lineup while displaying a solid glove at the hot corner.
To create room for Longoria, Jake McGee was placed on the injured list with lower back tightness. This move was not too terribly surprising as the left-handed hurler struggled to the tune of a 9.58 ERA in 11 appearances with the Giants in 2022.
McGee has experienced a noticeable dip in the velocity of his four-seam fastball while he continues to battle subpar command. Adding him to the injured list gives him a chance to reset and get his mechanics in line while recovering from a back ailment.