The Mercury News

La Stella finally back on roster, DeSclafani lands on injured list

- By Kerry Crowley kcrowley@ bayareanew­

PHOENIX >> The Giants’ marquee free agent signee from last offseason has rejoined the club after a three-month injury absence.

The Giants announced Wednesday that infielder Tommy La Stella has been reinstated from the 60day injured list after missing time with a hamstring strain and a fractured thumb.

To clear a 26-man roster spot for La Stella, the Giants placed starter Anthony DeSclafani on the 10-day injured list with right shoulder fatigue. To create space on the 40-man roster for

La Stella, the club designated left-handed pitcher Conner Menez for assignment.

La Stella was initially expected to return from the injured list in early July, but at the beginning of a rehab assignment with the Sacramento River Cats, the 32-yearold fractured his thumb and was forced to miss nearly three additional weeks.

La Stella dealt with thumb pain again after restarting a rehab assignment on July 10 and took a 10-day break from July 12-July 22 before rejoining the Triple-A lineup. The New Jersey native didn’t post impressive numbers while working his way back to the majors, but La Stella said Tuesday after taking batting practice at Chase Field that he wasn’t worried with his results.

“It’s more like just trying to get my two-strike approach down and just making sure I have my sense of the strike zone down first,” La Stella said. “I feel like I accomplish­ed that so I wasn’t so much concerned with the results.”

DeSclafani gave up a combined nine runs over his last two starts and failed to complete five innings in each outing. The right-hander had been the Giants’ most durable starter this season, but he struggled against the Diamondbac­ks in Monday’s matchup and won’t be available when San Francisco travels to Milwaukee to play the Brewers this weekend.

Giants manager Gabe Kapler said the club hopes DeSclafani only misses one

start and mentioned righthande­r Aaron Sanchez is a possibilit­y to make a spot start in his place this weekend.

“He’ll miss one start,” Kapler said of DeSclafani. “These things can take some twists and turns, but that’s the expectatio­n right now and I felt like it was the right time to get him as healthy and strong as possible.”

Menez was a 14th round draft choice out of the Master’s College in 2016 and was a success story for a Giants farm system that has struggled to develop homegrown pitchers in recent years. The lefthander made his major league debut with the Giants in 2019 and appeared in eight games for the club this season, but struggled at Triple-A following a demotion earlier in June and posted a 6.95 ERA and 2.23 WHIP for Sacramento.

“Good teams do have good players on their 40 (man roster) and sometimes have to designate players you wish you didn’t have to designate,” Kapler said.

When the Giants signed La Stella to a three-year, $18.75 million deal in February, they hoped he would be a fixture near the top of their lineup against right-handed pitchers. La Stella was expected to share time at second base with Donovan Solano and Wilmer Flores as well as spell Evan Longoria at third base, but after a month of games, he was sidelined with a hamstring strain that forced him to the 60-day injured list.

La Stella is the first of three veteran infielders the Giants expect to return from the injured list over the next few weeks as Brandon Belt (knee) could be back with the club at any point during the team’s

road trip while Evan Longoria (shoulder) is expected to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento over the weekend.

Before being placed on the injured list in May, La Stella hit .235 with a .650 OPS in 75 plate appearance­s for the Giants. The veteran infielder is the first and only player to receive a guaranteed three-year contract from the Giants since Zaidi became the organizati­on’s top baseball executive in November, 2018. YASTRZEMSK­I SCRATCHED, BRYANT RESTING >> Twenty minutes before Wednesday’s first pitch, the Giants announced right fielder Mike Yastrzemsk­i was scratched from the starting lineup with right hamstring tightness.

Yastrzemsk­i didn’t start Tuesday’s game and appeared as a pinch-hitter and Kapler noted on Wednesday that he’s working to give several starters a day off this week. Catcher Buster Posey and shortstop Brandon Crawford were back in the Giants’ lineup against Diamondbac­ks starter Zac Gallen, but recently acquired slugger Kris Bryant was given a day to rest.

Kapler indicated the goal is to keep the Giants’ top players fresh as the adjustment from playing a 60-game schedule last summer to a full 162game season has created physical challenges. BUMGARNER SHUTS DOWN GIANTS >> Nearly five years after Madison Bumgarner was last making a postseason push for the Giants, he led a last-place Diamondbac­ks team to a 3-1 victory over his old club with seven innings of one-run ball.

Tuesday marked Bumgarner’s second start against the Giants since he signed a five

year, $85 million deal with the Arizona Diamondbac­ks prior to the 2020 season, but his performanc­e was significan­tly improved from a fourinning stint at Oracle Park in San Francisco a year ago.

The three-time World Series champion didn’t necessaril­y throw like vintage Bumgarner, but he still turned in one of the best performanc­es of any opposing pitcher against a tough lineup.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States