Home News What’s next for SF Giants at first base after Wade hits IL

What’s next for SF Giants at first base after Wade hits IL


SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants placed first baseman LaMonte Wade Jr. on the injured list Tuesday, officially interrupting one of the most impressive offensive performances in the sport so far and thinning out San Francisco’s options at first base.

Wade injured his left hamstring sliding into second base during San Francisco’s 8-4 win over Philadelphia on Memorial Day and is expected to miss roughly a month with the Grade 2 strain. The 30-year-old first baseman is hitting .333 while leading MLB in on-base percentage (.470).

“It’s big,” Giants manager Bob Melvin said of Wade. “He’s as good a left-handed hitter as there is in the league right now. And not only that, the flair for the dramatic, coming up in big spots, getting big hits as we’ve seen for a while now. So that’s going to be tough to replace, but over the course of the season, we have to. And we’ve had to replace a lot of guys here recently. Probably as tough a one as we’ve had, though, to this point.”

Wade joined Austin Slater, Michael Conforto, Jung Hoo Lee, Nick Ahmed and Tom Murphy as Giants position players on the injured list. Slater is beginning a rehab assignment with Sacramento Tuesday, with the plan of playing two consecutive days before an off-day. Conforto is also nearing a return with a hamstring strain.

To replace Wade in the field, the Giants called up minor league acquisition Trenton Brooks, who will make his Major League debut at Wade’s first-base post. San Francisco also recalled Tyler Fitzgerald and selected Spencer Howard ahead of Tuesday night’s game, designating Drew Pomeranz and Ryan McKenna for assignment.

McKenna appeared in four games as a Giant, while Pomeranz didn’t log an appearance.

Brooks, 28, has played eight years in the minors and has a .426 on-base percentage with the River Cats this season. A left-handed hitter, Brooks will slot into Wade’s position against right-handed starters for the time being.

“Really, really grateful,” Brooks said before his debut. “It’s been a long time, and it’s been a long grind for myself and my family. It’s very rewarding, waiting this long, and I’m excited to do whatever I can to help this team win.”

Wilmer Flores is the only other Giant whom Melvin can pencil in at first base with Wade sidelined, and he’ll get the bulk of reps there. Marco Luciano, who has struggled defensively at short, hasn’t taken reps at first and isn’t a candidate, the manager said. Fitzgerald, the utility player, has started one game at first, but his athleticism makes him better suited up the middle.

“It would be easy just to plug (Flores) in there,” Melvin said. “And now that’s exclusively where Brooks plays, so I think we’re covered at first.”

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