As expected, Giants third baseman Evan Longoria is slated to miss up to eight weeks after undergoing surgery on his broken finger next week. Longoria sustained the injury during Thursday’s game against the Marlins, during which he fractured the fifth metacarpal of his non-throwing hand on a hit by pitch. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Friday and replaced on the roster by right-hander Pierce Johnson, though the righty was swiftly sent back to Triple-A Sacramento after Brandon Belt returned to the team on Saturday.
This is the first significant injury Longoria has sustained during his limited time with the Giants, and his first serious setback since he lost three months to the 60-day disabled list with a hamstring strain back in 2012. While his .246 average, 10 home runs and 0.5 fWAR doesn’t exactly suggest a career year, his was one of the few productive bats left in an ailing lineup.
Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle also points out that surgery wasn’t the only option for the Giants’ starting third baseman — just the more prudent choice. Longoria could have opted to spend three weeks in a cast, but was warned that the prolonged period of inactivity would have caused his muscles to begin to atrophy. According to comments made by Longoria himself, he’s hopeful that the recovery process won’t be quite as drawn-out as expected, and may even allow him to reclaim the hot corner from Alen Hanson and Pablo Sandoval shortly after the All-Star Break.
On Sunday, Blue Jays closer Ken Giles spoke to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star. Giles said, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston.” Giles won a World Series with the Astros last year, but talked about communication issues with the Astros and compared them unfavorably to the Blue Jays. Giles described the communication as having been “lost” and credited the Jays for staying patient with him.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch responded to Giles’ comments on Monday. Per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, Hinch said:
I think he’s wrong and I’m disappointed that he would go down that path given how much work and time and energy and communication that our front office, our coaching staff, me, we all went through this with him. And I understand, there was some disappointment in his tenure as an Astro because of the turbulent way things went about. We gave him every opportunity, we communicated with him effectively, we have an incredible culture where every single player will tell you it’s one of the best cultures they’ve had, one of the best communication envrionments they’ve had. They all know their roles. They all know their situations. To have one person out of all the guys in our clubhouse come out and claim otherwise is flat wrong.
While Giles certainly could be embellishing or deliberately misconstruing his time there, Hinch’s rebuttal doesn’t actually disqualify anything Giles said. Giles certainly could have had a negative experience in Houston even if everyone else was enjoying the “incredible culture” and “one of the best communication environments.”
Given how the Astros — including Hinch — responded to criticism about their acquiring an accused domestic abuser, they’re not in the best position to boast about an “incredible culture” anyway.
At any rate, this is a he-said, he-said situation. If anything more comes of it, it will be Giles further torching a bridge.