The San Francisco Giants will have to wait a little bit longer for their best hitter to return and spark a lineup in desperate need of an offensive savior – fewer than three runs per game in the month of August.
Alex Dickerson – placed on the 10-day injured list with a right oblique strain on August 1 – is scheduled to miss more time than his originally-anticipated ten days and will likely make a minor league rehab start before returning to big league play.
Dickerson has resumed running indoors, but currently does not have a target date for return to hitting.
“We’ve had to slow it down a little bit,” said manager Bruce Bochy. “Make sure he doesn’t have any setbacks.”
The outfielder has been the Giants’ best offensive producer when on the field – slashing .346/.402/.664 with six home runs and 25 RBIs – but has been unable to stay healthy, sidelined at various points in July with back soreness.
The Giants have felt Dickerson’s absence, scoring two fewer runs per game in contests where he does not log at least three at-bats – 5.8 runs per game when Dickerson bats at least three times, 3.9 when he does not. San Francisco is 14-8 in the 22 such games with three or more Dickerson plate appearances.
Conner Menez will remain on the Giants 25-man active roster and is slated to make his third major leagues start on Sunday against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Menez had a rough outing on Tuesday night, yielding five runs on two home runs in six innings, but will look to limit the long ball – on which five of his seven earned runs have scored – in his next start.
Steven Duggar will bat in the leadoff spot for the Giants in the stead of Brandon Belt, who gets a scheduled off day on Wednesday afternoon.
The move is a dual product of the Giants looking to spark an offense currently in the midst of a dry spell and Bochy looking not to wear out the veteran first baseman.
In addition to Belt, Bochy said he plans to rotate Pablo Sandoval and Evan Longoria in and out of the lineup throughout August to keep them fresh. Stephen Vogt could also see more time in left field, but the Giants will closely monitor his workload.