SF Giants activate left-handed-hitting outfielder, lose former top infield prospect in waiver claim to Tigers

Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants
Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants / Suzanna Mitchell/San Francisco Giants/GettyImages

The SF Giants welcomed back left-handed-hitting outfielder Luis González on Monday. Infielder Isan Díaz was designated for assignment and claimed off of waivers by the Detroit Tigers according to the team's transaction log.

SF Giants activate left-handed-hitting outfielder, lose former top infield prospect in waiver claim to Tigers

In spring training, it was announced that González was undergoing back surgery to repair a herniated disk. He was placed on the 60-day injured list with the expectation that he would miss the first half of the season.

The good news is that the 27-year-old was healthy enough to begin a rehab assignment on July 17. He reached the 20-day limit allowed for position players rehabbing from injury, so a decision needed to be made one way or the other.

The Giants decided to activate him and optioned him back to Triple-A. González registered a .163/.308/.233 in 53 rehab plate appearances, most of which took place with the Sacramento River Cats. The results are not necessarily important for an established player on a rehab assignment, but you would like to see a little better production from someone on the fringes of the 40-man roster.

That said, the lefty bat tallied seven walks against 11 strikeouts, so he controlled the strike zone in a way that the Giants like. San Francisco will likely have a need for him down the stretch, so he will continue to get game reps in Sacramento.

González's first season with the Giants had some ups and downs last year. He posted a .683 OPS with four home runs in 350 plate appearances. The Giants used him quite a bit against left-handed pitching, but he struggled to the tune of a .536 OPS in those matchups. It seemed clear that his best role might be in a platoon role against righties.

It bears mentioning that while González's bat showed some promise, his outfield defense and baserunning left a bit to be desired.

Isan Díaz was evidently placed on waivers to make room for González. There had been no word of this until it was announced that he had been claimed by the Tigers. Díaz was once a top prospect, but struggled in parts of three seasons with the Miami Marlins before being shipped to the Giants at the beginning of the 2022 season.

The middle infielder had a very nice year with Sacramento in 2022 as he produced a .950 OPS with 23 home runs in 332 plate appearances following the trade. The Giants rewarded him by adding him to the 40-man roster last year, but his time with San Francisco was brief as he recorded one hit in 19 at-bats while making a couple of nice plays at second base.

The Giants had a bit of a logjam in terms of middle infielders on the 40-man roster, so it seemed like that would be the area they would use to bring back González,