The Giants have announced a series of moves ahead of tonight’s game with the Rockies. Infielder Tommy LaStella was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list, along with outfielder Luis González optioned to Triple-A Sacramento in a corresponding active roster move (via Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle). San Francisco also selected the reliever Mauricio Llovera and optional Yunior Marte. To create space on the 40-man roster for Llovera, starter Anthony DeSclafani was moved from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day injured list.
La Stella is in tonight’s lineup as a designated hitter, setting him up to make his season debut. Signed to a three-year contract in the 2020-21 offseason, the left-handed second baseman suffered a few injuries in his first season in San Francisco. La Stella missed a few months with a sprained left hamstring and then a broken right hand. He was then hampered by left Achilles pain at the end of the season, and he was forced to undergo surgery at the end of October.
Recovery from that procedure lingered in the regular season and ended up costing La Stella the first five weeks of the year. Now that he’s back, he’ll likely play a regular second base role. La Stella posted a .250/.308/.405 line in 242 plate appearances in his first season as a giant, but he earned a stellar .281/.370/.449 mark in virtually the same playing time during the shortened 2020 campaign. One of the best contact hitters in the game, La Stella could possibly be a top table setter for skipper Gabe Kapler. His upcoming return no doubt played a part in the Giants’ decision to deal with the utility Mauricio Dubon in Houston this weekend.
Llovera is back with the big league club for the second time this season. The former Phillies reliever signed a minor league contract over the winter and was selected in late April as the team dealt with COVID-19 concerns. He appeared in four games and worked that many innings, allowing one run while striking out five scoreless. Despite the solid work, Llovera lost their 40-man spot as the club regained their health.
The 26-year-old’s first call came as a designated COVID backup, meaning the team could send him back to Sacramento without giving him a waiver. That’s not the case this time around, suggesting the Giants plan to keep him on the 40-man roster longer. It’s understandable after Llovera pitched 12 2/3 scoreless innings in the minors, stoking 17 batters to a pair of walks. Llovera still has an option year in the minor league, so he can still bounce between San Francisco and Sacramento while maintaining a 40-man spot.
DeSclafani originally landed on the 10-day IL on April 22 while battling inflammation in his right ankle. Today’s transfer keeps him out of MLB action for sixty days from that date, which means he won’t return to an Oracle Park mound until at least the end of June. The move comes as a bit of a surprise, as the right-hander had progressed to working on the mounds while recovering last week.
Kapler pointed out that DeSclafani didn’t suffer any setbacks (via MLB.com’s Maria Guardado). Rather, it appears the club have embarked on a cautious rehab for the 32-year-old, whom they re-signed to a three-year contract in the off-season. DeSclafani threw 167 2/3 ERA 3.17 innings last season.