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Lamont Wade Jr. Injury Opens Door for Wilmer Flores Amid Roster Dilemma – NBC Sports Bay Area and California

Lamont Wade Jr. Injury Opens Door for Wilmer Flores Amid Roster Dilemma – NBC Sports Bay Area and California

SAN FRANCISCO – The Giants, once again this season, have a big hole to fill at the top of their lineup.

San Francisco earned a huge 8-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday at Oracle Park, but it came at a cost.

First baseman Lamonte Wade Jr., who leads the Giants in batting average (.333) and all MLB hitters in on-base percentage (.470), left Monday’s game in the bottom of the fifth inning with a left hamstring strain following a hit. Strange. Slide to second base on a double.

Giants manager Bob Melvin told reporters after the game that the initial prognosis for Wade’s injury “doesn’t look good” and that he would almost certainly land on the injured list.

till when? That remains to be seen, as Wade will undergo an MRI on Tuesday.

“It’s not perfect. He’s hitting .330 or something,” Melvin said. “Not a lot of players in the league can do what he does. He’s not only a good left-handed hitter, he’s one of the best in the game.”

Midfielder Wilmer Flores added: “Yes, it’s definitely hard to see, especially with the way his season is going.” “He just has to try to get back as quickly as possible, but it sucks.”

Flores will be the everyday first baseman with Wade out. This is what the Giants know. However, what they don’t know yet is who will replace him as one of the few left-handed hitters on the roster. Without Wade, outfielder Mike Yastrzemski, infielder Brett Wesley and switch-hitting catcher Patrick Bailey are the only players remaining on the 26-man roster.

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Left-handed hitting and outfielder Blake Sabol is an option on the 40-man roster. The Giants also gave him a look at first base in spring training, which may end up paying off now. Melvin also mentioned first baseman Trenton Brooks, who is currently hitting .308/.426/.462 with four home runs and 18 RBI for Triple-A Sacramento, though that would require a 40-player move.

The Giants know they have a shortage of left-handed hitters right now, and the solution is unclear. Veteran midfielder Michael Conforto is close to returning but may need a rehab game or two this week before he can be activated.

The bright side is that Floris is an excellent insurance plan to begin with. Similar to his best season of his career in 2023, Flores didn’t have a day-to-day role to start the season, but key injuries — which was one of the ironies Wade suffered — forced him into a featured role. He took the opportunity and ran with it, hitting .284/.355/.509 with 23 home runs and 60 RBI in 405 at-bats.

Flores, as he proved last season, stays ready when his number is called and maintains the same approach at the plate no matter how many times he plays.

“Your routine changes a little bit, but the mentality is the same,” Flores explained. “You try to have good strokes and hit the ball hard. Nothing really changes.”

Although he doesn’t need to produce at the level he did last year since the lineup is much stronger this season, the Giants would certainly welcome Flores as he embraces his everyday role and becomes one of the most consistent hitters in the lineup.

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