The SF Giants roster is close to being at full strength as they are set to welcome back a pair of key infielders soon. One of those infielders is set to return this week after undergoing surgery to repair a ligament in his finger in March.
SF Giants set to welcome back veteran third baseman soon
Longtime third baseman Evan Longoria will soon be activated as he has rejoined the Giants to finish his rehab assignment. Giants manager Gabe Kapler has not indicated exactly when Longoria will be added back to the active roster, but he did say that the 36-year-old is "ready" and will return soon according to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area.
This will be a welcomed sight as the veteran third baseman will bring some stability to an infield alignment that has struggled in the early going. The defensive metrics have not been kind to the Giants at many infield positions, including third base where Giants third basemen have combined to post -5 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and -1 Outs Above Average (OAA).
Regardless of the metric you use, the Giants have been below-average with the glove at the hot corner and the new addition should be a considerable upgrade in that regard.
On the other hand, the return of Longoria adds another potent bat to a lineup that could use more offense. The Giants' lineup has posted a 104 OPS+ and 31 home runs, which ranks fourth and fifth in the NL, respectively.
The Giants might not have the most potent offense in the league, but they have founds ways to get runners across home plate as they have averaged 4.79 runs per game, which ranks second in the NL behind only the Los Angeles Dodgers (5.00 runs per game)
Longoria was in the midst of a strong 2021 campaign before a collision with shortstop Brandon Crawford resulted in a lengthy stay on the injured list as he recovered from a shoulder ailment. In total, the right-handed bat slashed .261/.351/.482 (122 OPS+) with 13 home runs, 46 RBI, and 45 runs in 291 plate appearances. last season
The longtime slugger had a memorable game in the NLDS against the Dodgers where he blasted a solo shot in Game 3 that proved to be the difference in the game. The Giants went up 2-1 in the series thanks to the clutch home run. However, the Giants dropped that series in five games after the Dodgers secured two straight wins to close it out.
During his rehab assignment, Longoria recorded five hits in 18 at-bats with the Sacramento River Cats. He typically has not needed a lot of repetitions in the past, so the length is consistent with how he has handled it in the past. The good news is that the Giants are getting close to being at full strength.