Still no Jaylin Davis
Luis Basabe’s trip to the injured list isn’t surprising after he strained his right hamstring running to first base Tuesday.
What’s telling is who replaced him. More specifically, who didn’t.
Jaylin Davis opened the season with the Giants, struck out six times in 12 atbats and was not seen again, at least not on the majorleague roster.
Beyond the four games he played with the Giants, Davis spent the season at the team’s alternate site in Sacramento, which closed shop Wednesday. He didn’t make enough progress in management’s minds to return to the big leagues — even after Giants outfielders went down one after another.
On Wednesday, the team needed an outfielder to take Basabe’s place, promoted Ste
ven Duggar and immediately inserted him into the lineup as the right fielder.
“He’s making more contact, and that contact is hard,” manager Gabe Kapler said of Davis. “There’s still quite a bit of swing and miss in the strike zone at the alternate site. That continues to give us pause and is an adjustment Jaylin needs to make if he’s to be a successful majorleague hitter. In addition, we think Duggar is right now the superior defender.”
Duggar swings lefthanded, and the Giants are facing a string of righthanded starters this week.
So Davis remains out of the picture until further notice. He hit 36 home runs last year, all but one in the minors, and seemed ready to make an impact in the big leagues when the Giants decided to include him on the seasonopening roster.
Kapler, who received a steady flow of information from Sacramento, including statistics and feedback from farm director
Kyle Haines and others, said Davis is “back in the mix,” but any improvement hasn’t led to a promotion.
“It’s not about hitting the ball hard, it’s not about speed, it’s not about the throwing arm. Or any specific tool,” Kapler said. “It’s just very simply put about making more consistent contact. We will continue to view Jaylin as an option because the tools are so strong, he’s such a high character guy and we are looking for that outcome.”
Basabe got a chance because other outfielders were absent. Mike Yastrzemski (calf ) missed five games, Austin
Slater (elbow) can’t play the field and Alex Dickerson spent time on paternity leave.
With Basabe out for the season, Kapler offered high praise for the switchhitter who impressed management with his speed and defense and was told to work on his swing path from the left side to improve on making the ball carry.
“He made really strong impressions,” Kapler said. “We enjoyed having him in the lineup. He gave our team a different dynamic, one that we hadn’t had previously . ... Incredibly strong, positive personality, the clubhouse and dugout loved him.”