The good news is that Tommy La Stella returned to the lineup on Monday after missing the first part of the season as he recovered from offseason Achilles surgery. The veteran infielder recorded nine hits in 29 at-bats with the Sacramento River Cats during his rehab assignment.
SF Giants welcome back veteran second baseman but it comes with a tough decision
The bad news is that his roster spot came at the expense of an outfielder who was scorching the ball. Luis González was optioned to Triple-A in a flurry of roster moves that were announced on Monday.
Anthony DeSclafani was transferred to the 60-day injured list, Yunior Marte was optioned, and Mauricio Llovera was added to the 26-man roster.
The decision to demote González is a polarizing one. After all, the left-handed bat is slashing .349/.397/.492 (155 OPS+) with two home runs, 15 RBI, and 11 runs in 73 plate appearances. This included an 8.2 percent walk rate against a 13.7 percent strikeout rate.
He controlled the strike zone, saw a lot of pitches, and had a knack for the clutch hit. He exceeded any expectations that the Giants could have had for him when they purchased his contract last month.
The tough part is that the Giants do not have a ton of roster flexibility, especially in terms of position players. La Stella had to be added sooner or later and only Mike Yastrzemski (3), Joey Bart (2), and Austin Slater (1) along with González had minor league options for those who played in the field.
The Giants are beginning a series at Coors Field, so carrying less than 13 pitchers would have been a tough decision to make. With all that being said, the choice to option González is one of the few moves that made any sense. Of course, it is hard to justify that type of move with how he was performing, but he will return soon enough.
The Giants' lineup is seemingly back at full strength with the return of La Stella. The 33-year-old infielder debuted with the Giants on Monday, registering a ground out to the pitcher in his lone at-bat. This lineup should grind out at-bats and the addition of La Stella will only help in that regard.