SF Giants News: Left-handed-hitting outfielder to miss start of season

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San Francisco Giants v Arizona Diamondbacks / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

The SF Giants received a bit of bad news on Sunday. Multiple reports confirmed that outfielder Luis González is dealing with a back strain that should keep him on the shelf until after the start of the season.

SF Giants News: Left-handed-hitting outfielder to miss start of season

Maria I. Guardado of MLB.Com relays that the left-handed-hitting outfielder is expected to miss four to six weeks. On a different note, middle infielder Donovan Walton underwent shoulder surgery last September and will be out until May. Walton was originally listed as a non-roster invitee.

This has been a tough couple of weeks for González. He was hoping to play for Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic but found out that he was unable to do so as he finished last season on the injured list. This was a stipulation in his insurance policy with the Giants.

Early last season, it was looking like the 27-year-old outfielder was another shrewd addition by the front office. He did not begin the season on the 40-man roster, but was added early on and became a mainstay with the club.

The left-handed bat slashed .282/.343/.414 with three home runs, 26 RBI, and 20 runs in 204 plate appearances in the first half of the season. He strung together gritty at-bats and generally put the ball in play but did not flash a ton of power. That said, González won Rookie of the Month honors for May as he posted a .910 OPS in 83 plate appearances.

However, his performance cratered in the second half of the year. He produced a rough .579 OPS in 146 plate appearances. He had some bright moments with the bat in 2022, but he had plenty of miscues on the bases and in the outfield that he will need to clean up before he can become a role player.

The Giants entered camp with an outfield contingent that included Mitch Haniger, Michael Conforto, Austin Slater, and Mike Yastrzemski. It was unlikely that González was going to break camp with the club and the injury news confirms this.

San Francisco has the ability to use the 60-day injured list in case they expect González to miss more than the first month of the season. Barring any changes, he should return before that.