SAN FRANCISCO — LaMonte Wade Jr.’s season debut with the Giants is on hold for at least a few more days.
Manager Gabe Kapler said Wednesday ahead of Game 2 of the Bay Bridge series at Oracle Park with the A’s that Wade, who suffered from knee inflammation, will gradually increase his activity with Triple-A Sacramento before returning to the Giants.
Kapler said the Giants would like Wade to spend time at first base, play in full games and back-to-back days before he returns.
Kapler said it’s possible Wade will play first base when he returns to the big leagues, which may not happen until the Giants wrap up their home game Sunday against the Washington Nationals.
“Sometimes necessity changes deadlines, but we will always put the health and well-being of our players first,” Kapler said.
Wade went 0-for-2 with a walk as he played four innings in left field with Sacramento on Saturday against Oklahoma City. Tuesday against Albuquerque, Wade returned to left field and went 1 for 1 with a walk and an RBI. Wade was the designated hitter for the River Cats on Wednesday night.
With Wade out with a knee injury, Steven Duggar on the 60-day injured list with an oblique stump and Mike Yastrzemski on the COVID injured list, the Giants’ striking depth in the outfield has been tested in a significant way in the first month of the season.
Given Farhan Zaidi’s impressive ability to create depth at the highest levels of the organization, it’s no surprise the Giants handled the test quite well.
Independent signing and Palo Alto native Joc Pederson, who agreed to a one-year, $6 million contract with the Giants this spring, entered Tuesday with six homers, putting him in a three-way tie for second place. of the major league standings. behind Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo (eight).
Giants fans knew all about Pederson’s hitting ability before he signed due to his more than six-year tenure with the Dodgers, but they’ve been pleasantly surprised lately by the contributions of 26-year-old rookie Luis González , who threw the go-forward, two-run home run in the team’s 4-2 win over the Brewers on Monday.
Like so many other key Giants contributors during Zaidi’s tenure, González’s acquisition flew under the radar as the club added him to a waiver request from the Chicago White Sox last summer after the native of Mexico underwent season-ending shoulder surgery.
González was on the Giants’ 40-man roster just four days before he was moved to the 60-day injured list on August 15, which forced San Francisco to pay him major league pay for the remainder of the season. The move paid off in the offseason when González re-signed with the Giants to a minor league contract, allowing him to attend major league spring training where he immediately impressed Kapler and the team. coaches.
Although González started the year in Triple-A, his spring performance suggested he would play a role in helping the Giants at some point in the regular season. And due to three top DL placements for left-handed outfielders, that moment came much sooner than even Zaidi and Kapler probably expected.
While it’s unclear what González’s role will look like once Wade and Yastrzemski return from the injured list, his impressive all-around skill set has helped the Giants maintain their strong start to the season.
ABOUT YAZ: Kapler said Yastrzemski was feeling better and could start taking PCR tests again on Friday.
According to MLB’s COVID-19 protocols, players can return 10 days after testing positive or if they can provide two negative PCR tests, as long as they have no symptoms and have clearance to return from the medical committee. MLB spouse. Yastrzemski tested positive for the first time on Sunday.
OTHER MEDICAL UPDATES: Kapler said there is a loose schedule for infielder Tommy La Stella (Achilles surgery) to begin a rehab assignment next week. Third baseman Evan Longoria (finger), who was throwing through the diamond before Wednesday’s game, could begin his own rehab mission soon after.
WAIVER REQUEST: The Giants claimed left-hander Darien Núñez off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Núñez will be optioned for Triple-A Sacramento, the Giants said.
Writer Kerry Crowley contributed to this report.