With less than two weeks remaining in the season, it was not looking like one outfielder would be healthy enough to return. However, on Monday, the SF Giants activated Austin Slater from the injured list to help the team down the stretch.
SF Giants welcome back right-handed-hitting outfield from injured list
Over the weekend, it was reported that the Slater had begun ramping up baseball activities, so a return from the injured list seemed possible. To create room on the roster, top outfield prospect Heliot Ramos was optioned back to Triple-A.
Ramos was recalled just a couple of days ago to get an extra right-handed bat into the lineup but his stay was brief. In his latest stint, the 23-year-old recorded seven hitless at-bats with three strikeouts. On the year, he has just two hits in 20 sporadic at-bats with six strikeouts.
It has been a tough season for the former first-round pick as he has struggled in his second turn through Triple-A. In 445 plate appearances with the Sacramento River Cats, Ramos has slashed .223/.303/.333 (61 wRC+) with nine home runs, 35 RBI, and 58 runs. This includes an 8.8 percent walk rate against a 24.0 strikeout rate.
His struggles in Triple-A have spanned multiple seasons, so this is a trend to monitor next season. With all that being said, the outfield prospect just turned 23 earlier this month, so he is still on the younger side.
On the other hand, Austin Slater returns after a brief absence. The six-year veteran was placed on the injured list earlier in the month with a sprain in his left hand. He has put together another nice season as he has registered a .267/.378/396 line (125 wRC+) with five home runs, 31 RBI, 43 runs, and 11 stolen bases in 12 opportunities. This includes a 13.6 percent walk rate against a 26.6 percent strikeout rate.
Slater has proven to be an excellent role player and this season is no different as he has tallied an .809 OPS in 167 plate appearances against left-handed pitching. Being a platoon hitter is not an easy task, but the righty bat has found a way to stay in rhythm even when playing time can be inconsistent at times.