The SF Giants welcomed back a key outfield bat on Wednesday as the lineup inches closer to full strength. To make room on the active roster, Yermín Mercedes was optioned to Triple-A, per the team's transaction log.
SF Giants activate key outfield bat on Wednesday
LaMonte Wade Jr. returned to the Giants after a five-week absence as he battled lingering knee discomfort. He sustained the injury in spring training, which caused him to miss the first month of the season.
The left-handed bat returned, but recorded just six hits, including one home run, in 25 at-bats with five walks, five strikeouts, and four runs in 32 plate appearances. He reaggravated the injury after just 10 games and hit the shelf again.
Wade Jr. joined the Sacramento River Cats for a rehab assignment where he tallied six hits in 23 at-bats with one home run, five RBI, and four runs. The Giants wasted no time in bringing him back to the lineup as he added one hit in five at-bats in Wednesday's 3-2 loss against the Detroit Tigers.
San Francisco hitters need help against right-handed pitching as they have posted a .724 OPS against righties in 2022. Wade Jr. excelled in these matchups as he produced an .860 OPS in 339 plate appearances last season.
Mercedes returns to the River Cats after a brief call up with the Giants. The right-handed bat was acquired as a waiver claim from the Chicago White Sox about 10 days ago. Given that he generated a .415 batting average in the first month of 2021, there has been plenty of intrigue in the 29-year-old.
The first baseman recorded one hit in four at-bats in two games with the Giants. He is very limited defensively and is probably better suited as a designated hitter.
That said, he does carry some utility on the 40-man roster as he has slashed .343/.389/.522 in 72 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers as a major leaguer. He will likely return when the Giants have a slate of lefties coming up in the schedule.
For now, the Giants welcome back Wade Jr., who was the Willie Mac Award winning in 2021. They need his leadership and his clutch bat.