The SF Giants lineup is nearing full strength as a key left-handed bat is set to return on Wednesday. LaMonte Wade Jr. is likely to be activated before Wednesday's game after battling knee discomfort all season.
SF Giants set to welcome back key left-handed bat on Wednesday
Wade Jr. originally sustained the injury in spring training and missed the first month of the season before making a brief return. In that time, the left-handed bat recorded six hits, including one home run, with five RBI, five walks, five strikeouts, and four runs in 32 plate appearances.
However, he reaggravated the knee injury after just 10 games and hit the injured list for the second time in 2022. The four-year veteran recorded 6 hits in 23 at-bats during his rehab assignment with the Sacramento River Cats. The Giants are hoping that he can provide a jolt to the offense in the second half.
San Francisco originally acquired the 28-year-old outfielder from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for reliever Shaun Anderson in February of 2021. This is a move that has already paid dividends, especially considering that Anderson has played for a handful of organizations since the trade.
Wade Jr. came out of nowhere to become a key cog for the 107-win Giants in 2021. He slashed .253/.326/.482 (116 OPS+) with 18 home runs, 56 RBI, and 52 runs in 381 plate appearances. This included an 8.7 percent walk rate against a 23.4 percent strikeout rate.
The lefty bat had reached double digits in home runs as a pro just once before 2021. This occurred in 2018 when he notched 11 home runs split between Double-A and Triple-A.
Wade Jr. was not just known for his home run power, but his clutch hitting as well. He tallied 13 hits in 23 at-bats with 12 RBI during the ninth inning of last season as he was in the middle of several improbable comebacks.
The clutch hitting was nice, but the Giants are counting on him to be a productive bat against right-handed pitching in 2022. He slashed .268/.341/.518 with all 18 of his home runs against righties last year.
As a team, the Giants have registered a .724 OPS against right-handed pitching in 2022, so there is room for improvement. The addition of Wade Jr. should help in achieving that end.
The Giants have battled injuries all season. Many have returned from the injured list and the hope is that San Francisco experiences a prolonged period of good health going forward.