SF Giants lineup set to receive boost as key outfield bat begin rehab assignment

San Francisco Giants v St. Louis Cardinals
San Francisco Giants v St. Louis Cardinals / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages

The SF Giants hope that the lineup will receive a boost soon enough. According to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area, veteran outfielder Mitch Haniger will begin a rehab assignment on Tuesday.

SF Giants lineup set to receive boost as key outfield bat begin rehab assignment

The offense has been mired in a brutal stretch that spans multiple months. Given where the Giants are in the season, the lack of offensive firepower might be what keeps them out of the playoffs. Giants hitters have slashed .229/.308/.361 (85 wRC+) with a 9.3 percent walk rate and a 24.7 percent strikeout rate since the start of June.

The 85 wRC+ is the third-worst mark in baseball. Only the Chicago White Sox (83 wRC+) and the Colorado Rockies (72 wRC+) have performed worse during that stretch. That is not where the Giants want to be sitting in the midst of a hopeful playoff run.

The right-handed bat suffered a forearm fracture after being hit by Jack Flaherty in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals in the middle of June. While not directly related, the Giants offense has just not been the same since Haniger landed on the injured list.

His overall numbers were not great as he slashed .230/.281/.372 (78 wRC+) with four home runs, 22 RBI, and 20 runs in 160 plate appearances. This includes a 5.6 percent walk rate against a 26.3 percent strikeout rate.

Nevertheless, Haniger performed oddly well with runners in scoring position as he posted an .864 OPS with 16 RBI in 40 plate appearances. As a team, the Giants have struggled badly in those situations just as they have struggled in just about every facet of hitting lately.

The return of Haniger should help raise the floor of the lineup and add a bat with a proven track record. Even if his overall numbers were not great, Haniger was making quality contact, which is usually a precursor to positive regression.

Given that he has missed the past two months, the 32-year-old outfielder will likely have a relatively long rehab assignment. Some rehab assignments are over after a game or two, but this one could last a week so that Haniger can get his timing down. Though, the Giants may expedite that process if he shows that he can help them right away.