SF Giants veterans begin rehab assignment with the Sacramento River Cats
Pollock (oblique) and Stripling (back) landed on the injured list in August, so it is not going to be an extended absence for either of them. In the case of Stripling, his rehab assignment might already be done as he was seen in the Giants' locker room on Saturday according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Stripling allowed one earned run in his lone inning with the River Cats on Friday, whereas Pollock tallied three hitless at-bats. The Giants will need to make a decision on both soon enough.
What role they fill will be a different story. The Giants appear to be finding some stability in the rotation with Tristan Beck and Kyle Harrison. Plus, Keaton Winn is back with the club as he was recalled along with Brandon Crawford when the rosters expanded.
The Giants also have Jakob Junis and Sean Manaea as a couple of bulk innings arms in the bullpen. Junis has been quietly effective in 2023, whereas Manaea's season has been mixed.
There just may not be a lot of innings for Stripling in September as many of the other pitchers, especially the younger ones, have carved out roles with the team. Though, these things tend to work themselves out.
It has been a rough first year for Stripling in San Francisco as he has struggled to the tune of a 5.29 ERA, 5.52 FIP, 1.30 WHIP, 7.0 K/9, and a 5.55 SO/W ratio in 19 appearances. His command has been good, but he is missing the sharpness that has made him so effective throughout his career as he has allowed 2.3 HR/9.
The 33-year-old inked a two-year, $25 million deal this past winter. This included an opt-out after the first season. If I were a betting man, I would say that he is definitively opting in.
On the other hand, A.J. Pollock could return soon. In what role might be the better question. The Giants acquired the veteran bat from the Seattle Mariners right before the trade deadline. Pollock collected six hitless at-bats before landing on the injured list. He has a track record of performance, but at 35 years of age, it is fair to wonder if he can still offer anything of value.