The SF Giants welcomed back two key bats on Monday as both Austin Slater (hamstring) and Mitch Haniger (oblique) were activated from the injured list. In the case of Haniger, he made his Giants debut against the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday.
SF Giants welcome back to key bats to the lineup on Monday
Utility player Brett Wisely was optioned to Triple-A, whereas Darin Ruf was placed on the injured list with wrist inflammation in corresponding roster moves according to the team's transaction log. Wisely recorded one hit in 14 at-bats in his first stint in the majors.
Originally a middle infielder, the Giants experimented with the 23-year-old in center field in spring training and they remain committed to that experiment. He saw 40 innings of action in the field with the Giants and all of that came in center field.
The left-handed bat was off to a solid start in Triple-A, slashing .304/.467/.500 with nine doubles, eight RBI, and 11 runs in 63 plate appearances with the Sacramento River Cats.
On the other hand, Ruf hits the shelf after a brief stint with the Giants in 2023. San Francisco signed him to a minor league deal earlier this month and added him back to the roster as the Giants were slated to face a handful of left-handed pitchers. He tallied six hits, two doubles, and three RBI in 23 at-bats before landing on the injured list.
The Giants lineup will receive a boost with the return of both Slater and Haniger. Giants hitters have struggled to the tune of a .608 OPS against lefties in 2023, but both outfielders excel in these matchups.
Slater gives the Giants another option at center field to go along with Mike Yastrzemski. Yastrzemski will be in the lineup against right-handed pitching, whereas Slater should be penciled in against southpaws as he has registered a solid .845 OPS in his career while facing lefties.
On the other hand, Haniger will see time at either corner outfield spot. The right-handed bat has recorded an .853 OPS against left-handed pitching compared to a .795 OPS against righties. He is expected to be in the lineup regardless of the matchup.
The Giants lineup has been inconsistent at times in 2023. However, the addition of Slater and Haniger along with the return of Joc Pederson should give the Giants more stability in the middle of the order.