ORACLE PARK — Among the chain of injury and status updates that Bruce Bochy gave on Monday before his San Francisco Giants opened a four-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates was the harrowing news that reliever Reyes Moronta will undergo shoulder surgery and is at risk of missing the entire 2020 season with a torn labrum.
Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who operated on Oakland Athletics pitcher Sean Manaea’s shoulder last year, will be repairing Moronta’s torn labrum tomorrow in Los Angeles. Moronta had been enjoying a second straight superlative year as arguable the club’s most dependable reliever before suffering the injury in an August 31 loss to the San Diego Padres.
The injury had initially been described as an acute shoulder strain, but his since been revealed to be a labrum tear. The procedure will also include work on his shoulder capsule. The 24-year-old Dominican had appeared in 56 games for the Giants this year, allowing just 41 hits and striking out 70 over 56 2/3 innings.
He won’t be the only key cog in the Giants bullpen on the shelf this month, though left-hander Tony Watson’s injury is far less severe. Watson saw team hand specialist Dr. Scott Hansen earlier on Monday and underwent an MRI that revealed a small fracture in his left wrist. The wrist will be immobilized in a splint for 10 days before re-evaluation.
The losses of both arms mean that Will Smith is one of the last remaining relievers who were on the Opening Day roster, and were, at the end of July, the best bullpen in the National League.
Mark Melancon, Sam Dyson and Drew Pomeranz have been traded; Derek Holland, Nick Vincent and Travis Bergen have been designated for assignment, and Moronta, Trevor Gott, and Watson have all gone down with injury.
In much more promising news, right-hander Johnny Cueto will be making his first start since July of 2018 on Tuesday in the second installment of the four-game set against the Pirates, with a cap set at roughly 80 pitches. Rookie Logan Webb is currently listed as Wednesday’s starter and Jeff Samardzija will take the hill in Thursday’s matinee.
Pablo Sandoval’s elbow surgery was successful, though he stated that doctors told him the damage found in his elbow before the procedure was worse than initially anticipated.
“It’s going to be a while,” Bochy said. “I don’t know exactly how long, and I don’t know if anybody knows. There’s always that window of eight to 12-14 months. Until we get more info from the doctors and training staff, I can’t answer it better.”
Alex Dickerson played catch with the training staff after receiving a cortisone shot in his back, but no timetable was given for his return. Bochy said it would be at least two or three days until his re-insertion in the lineup. Mike Yastrzemski will start Monday’s game in left field, where he’s typically been when Dickerson has been out. Jaylin Davis will be starting in right field and was seen learning to play various caroms off the wall during batting practice.
With Sacramento advancing to the Pacific Coast League Championship Series against the Round Rock Express, the Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros, Cueto is likely to be the only player added to the active roster over the next few days. The River Cats currently have six members of the 40-man roster, but that may change tomorrow as the organization will have to clear a spot for Cueto.