SF Giants outfielder LaMonte Wade Jr. begins rehab assignment

San Francisco Giants v Chicago White Sox
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The SF Giants will be welcoming back a key bat soon enough. LaMonte Wade Jr. began a rehab assignment on Saturday and he should be returning to the active roster shortly thereafter.

SF Giants outfielder LaMonte Wade Jr. begins rehab assignment

The left-handed bat began the season on the injured list after experiencing inflammation in his left knee toward the end of spring training. However, the injury was not considered serious, so it looks like he will only miss the first couple of weeks of the season.

Wade Jr. appeared in Saturday night's game for the Sacramento River Cats, recording no hits in two at-bats with a walk and a run scored. The results are not necessarily important for a rehab assignment. The good news is that he is healthy enough to play.

Rehab assignments used to be much longer, but it now seems like they have been reduced to just a couple of games. Teams have alternative ways of getting players game repetitions such as simulation games.

This is a nice development for the Giants as they have been hit by the injury bug quite a bit in the early going. Tommy La Stella (Achilles), Alex Cobb (abductor strain), and Anthony DeSclafani (ankle inflammation) have all spent time on the injured list in the first month of the season.

The Giants have faced a lot of right-handed pitching to start the 2022 campaign, so adding a good left-handed hitter will help them out a lot in those matchups. San Francisco originally acquired Wade Jr. in exchange for reliever Shaun Anderson in February of 2021.

Anderson has been with five different organizations since that trade and it quickly turned into a shrewd addition by the Giants' front office. Prior to the trade, Wade Jr. had slashed .211/.336/.347 (87 OPS+) with three home runs in 113 plate appearances with the Twins.

This included a .746 OPS against righties, so the Giants felt like Wade Jr. could give them modest leverage in those matchups. However, the 28-year-old quickly blossomed into an important contributor.

In total, he slashed .253/.326/.482 (117 OPS+) with 18 home runs, 56 RBI, and 52 runs scored in 381 plate appearances. This included an 8.7 percent walk rate against a 23.4 percent strikeout rate.

Wade Jr. excelled in a platoon role as he posted an .860 OPS with all 18 of his home runs coming against righties. It was a pleasant surprise and he will be a welcomed addition to the lineup as the Giants try to muster more offense from the lineup.