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Help along the way while rehabilitating injured veterans at Triple-A – NBC Sports Bay Area & California

Help along the way while rehabilitating injured veterans at Triple-A – NBC Sports Bay Area & California

SAN FRANCISCO — The Yankees had six former stars in the lineup on Saturday night. The Giants countered with one featuring five players who were in Triple-A earlier this season, but help will be on the way soon.

Austin Slater, Nick Ahmed and Michael Conforto reached the top three in Triple-A Sacramento’s lineup on Saturday as part of their rehab assignments. Slater had a pair of hits and Conforto walked, while Ahmed was 0-for-3 in his first game since May 9.

Conforto appears to be the closest to returning, and head coach Bob Melvin said Saturday that the plan was for him to play two games and then return to San Francisco to be evaluated. Barring a setback, it seems likely the Giants will try to get him back into the lineup Monday in Arizona.

The Giants will have to find a way to keep Heliot Ramos on the field when Conforto returns, but that doesn’t seem difficult right now. Luis Matos has calmed down, and on Saturday a day off was given to struggling DH Jorge Soler, who got an early BP with the hitting coaches.

It also shouldn’t be too difficult to get Ahmed back into position after he fully recovers from his sprained wrist. Marco Luciano went to IL on Friday with a hamstring strain and Ahmed will be physically ready against the 22-year-old, who has done well at the plate but has struggled defensively. The Giants are turning to a combination of Ahmed and Brett Wesley at short when they return to full strength.

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He wisely started at second base on Saturday because Thero Estrada has a sore thumb. He is 11-for-31 with seven RBI and Melvin said the quality of his hitting “was fantastic.”

“For him, it’s all about swinging at strikes,” Melvin said. “Sometimes when you get to the big leagues, you want to do a little bit too much. That wasn’t really the case for him. He swung pretty well wherever we put him in the lineup, and he had to play position. (Short pause) He’s probably very familiar with it.” “Offensively, he’s been great all the way.”

Slater was the first to begin his rehab mission but may take more hits than others as he returns from concussion. Slater had just 39 at-bats before he hit the center field wall and Melvin said earlier this week that the Giants wanted him to find his groove at the plate before returning. Slater is 3-for-13 with the River Cats so far.

Long task

After hitting two homers earlier in the game on Friday, Aaron Judge flied out to right against Sean Hill in the eighth. This was the second matchup between the 6-foot-11 Hjelle and the 6-foot-7 Judge, but they don’t really crack the top three in MLB in terms of matchups you’d expect to find on a basketball court.

Randy Johnson (6-foot-10) and Daniel Cabrera (6-foot-9) hold the unofficial record for a hitter with the greatest combined height. John Rauch (6-foot-11) versus Richie Sexon (6-foot-8) and Mark Hendrickson (6-foot-9) versus Chris Young (6-foot-10) round out the top three. Hjelle also faced 6-foot-7 Oneil Cruz from the Pittsburgh Pirates, though he would need to wait a long prospect to get to the MLB to attempt to break the record. There are no current hitters listed as being taller than Judge or O’Neill.

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Surgery is scheduled

Jong Ho Lee will finally have surgery on his dislocated left shoulder next Tuesday in Los Angeles, and Dr. Neil El Atrash will perform the procedure. Lee is expected to make a full recovery by the beginning of next spring.

Lee will remain with the team and rehabilitate in San Francisco, Melvin said. The 25-year-old finished his rookie year with a .641 OPS and two homers in 37 games.

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