The SF Giants welcomed back a key bat on Saturday in Thairo Estrada. To make room on the roster, left-handed-hitting infielder Isan Díaz was optioned to Sacramento in a corresponding roster move, per a team announcement.
SF Giants activate key infielder, option Isan Díaz to Sacramento
The Giants are happy to see Estrada back in the lineup. They struggled to get any meaningful offensive production out of second base during his absence. The 27-year-old infielder landed on the injured list on July 3 after sustaining a hand fracture during a game against the New York Mets.
Since then, Giants second basemen have struggled to the tune of a .334 OPS in 69 plate appearances. Not surprisingly, it is the worst mark in baseball by a far margin during that span.
Brett Wisely, Isan Díaz, and David Villar all saw time at second base while Estrada was on the injured list. Unfortunately, none of the three options made any type of case that they could contribute in a future role, which is further complicated by a bit of a roster logjam at the position. In fairness to Wisely and Díaz, they both made some nice plays in the field.
Nevertheless, it was going to be a tall task trying to replace Estrada's production one way or the other. The five-year veteran has been one of the Giants' most reliable contributors in 2023 and was playing at an All-Star level before the injury.
Prior to the hand fracture, the right-handed bat slashed .272/.327/.434 (107 OPS+) with nine home runs, 31 RBI, and 46 runs in 315 plate appearances. This includes 18 stolen bases in 22 opportunities.
However, Estrada impacts the game on both sides of the ball. He has been worth +11 Outs Above Average (OAA) and +3 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) at second base this year. Regardless of the metric you use, he has been an above-average fielder. Though, he does still lead the league at second base in terms of OAA despite not playing since the start of July.
Estrada started Saturday's game against the Oakland A's while hitting second in the lineup. He recorded one hit in three at-bats during the Giants 2-1 loss versus the A's.