The SF Giants receive some bad news on Tuesday. Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic reported that outfielder Luis González
was undergoing surgery to repair a herniated disk and that he would be out for the first half of the season.
SF Giants outfielder to undergo back surgery
It was confirmed at the beginning of camp that the 27-year-old outfielder was dealing with a back ailment that would sideline him until the start of the season. However, the fact that the Giants were considering surgery was not known until Baggarly's report. The estimated recovery time is 16 weeks.
At the start of spring training, González was poised to play for Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. However, he was unable to do so due to the fact that he finished the 2022 season on the injured list, which was a stipulation in his insurance policy with San Francisco.
The left-handed bat was claimed off of waivers from the Chicago White Sox midway through the 2021 campaign. He was dealing with a season-ending shoulder ailment, but the White Sox decided to put him on waivers rather than transfer him to the 60-day injured list. The Giants took him off of their hands.
His first season with the Giants had some ups and downs, but he was an overall positive contributor to that team. He slashed .254/.323/.360 (93 OPS) with four home runs, 36 RBI, and 31 runs in 350 plate appearances. This included an 8.6 percent walk rate against a 21.4 percent strikeout rate.
The Giants had an outfield contingent that was heavy in left-handed hitters last year but González was often one of the players used against left-handed pitching. This was not an ideal matchup as he registered a .536 OPS against lefties but this came with a solid .750 OPS against right-handed pitching. Perhaps, if his exposure is limited to just right-handed pitching, he could carve out a role with the team.
When spring training began, it did not look like González had a shot at making the club. However, the back injury furthered that belief. For now, he will get a chance to recover and put this back injury behind him with the hopes of helping out the club at the end of the year.