PHILADELPHIA -- The Giants lost one of their key spark plugs on Thursday, placing outfielder Alex Dickerson on the 10-day injured list with a right oblique strain and selecting the contract of left-handed reliever Sam Selman from Triple-A Sacramento.
Dickerson was scratched from Wednesday’s lineup after feeling discomfort in his oblique and subsequently underwent an MRI, which revealed a mild strain. Manager Bruce Bochy said Dickerson will likely be sidelined for five to 10 days.
“It just makes sense to go ahead and see if we can get this cleared up,” Bochy said. “We hated doing it because we’d love to have his bat out there, but it’s the right thing to do right now.”
Acquired from the Padres in exchange for Minor League pitcher Franklin Van Gurp in June, Dickerson has provided a major boost to the Giants’ lineup by batting .386 with a 1.222 OPS and six home runs over 30 games. But health has always been an issue for the 29-year-old lefty slugger, who missed the entire 2017 and ’18 seasons with back and elbow injuries.
“I’m hoping to just play this by ear,” Dickerson said. “Hopefully, it’s the minimum days and I’ll get right back out there. I just need to put it behind me so I can move forward without having to tiptoe around: ‘Oh, is it going to be good today or bad today?’”
Dickerson’s injury allowed San Francisco to get its first look at Selman, a second-round Draft pick of Kansas City in 2012 who spent seven years in the Minors before finally receiving his first big league callup on Thursday. Selman made his MLB debut in the Giants’ 10-2 loss to the Phillies, yielding a solo home run to Roman Quinn and striking out one in the fifth inning.
Selman, who played with Tyler Beede and Mike Yastrzesmski at Vanderbilt, had been brought to Philadelphia and placed on the taxi squad Wednesday in anticipation of potential moves ahead of the Trade Deadline. He learned of his promotion while having breakfast with his parents, Jack and Cynthia, at the team hotel Thursday morning.
“My mom started crying when the eggs were served,” Selman said. “The waiter had no clue what was going on. It was pretty exciting.”
Signed to a Minor League deal over the offseason, Selman has dominated in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, logging a 1.35 ERA with 65 strikeouts over 40 innings in 30 appearances for Sacramento. He will essentially replace veteran left-hander Drew Pomeranz, who was traded along with right-hander Ray Black to the Brewers in exchange for middle-infield prospect Mauricio Dubon.
“He’s been really throwing the ball well down in Sacramento against lefties and righties,” Bochy said. “You can use him multiple innings. It looks like he can be a valuable piece of this bullpen, the fact that he can carry some workload and be used in different areas. Because of the job he’s been doing, that allows [president of baseball operations] Farhan [Zaidi] to make a move with Pomeranz because of our depth. Good for Sam and the job he’s been doing down there.”
After moving Pomeranz, Sam Dyson and Mark Melancon, San Francisco replenished its bullpen with a trio of younger arms in Andrew Suarez, Jandel Gustave and Selman. Gustave also made his Giants debut Thursday, tossing two scoreless innings in his first Major League appearance since 2017.
All three replacements have options, giving San Francisco more roster flexibility over the final two months of the season.
“It does give you a lot more flexibility when you have guys with options,” Bochy said. “And you can look after them, to be honest. You don’t overuse them and have the risk of injury. I know sometimes they don’t like it, but that’s when you’re asking for trouble, when you don’t have that flexibility and you keep having to use the same guys. I think it can help keep everybody fresh. Hopefully we don’t have a lot of movement. That means good things are happening.”
To clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Selman, the Giants designated right-hander Dan Winkler for assignment. Winkler was acquired from the Braves in exchange for Melancon Wednesday, though there’s a chance he could remain in the organization if he clears waivers and is outrighted to Sacramento.
Pillar, Crawford ailing
Shortstop Brandon Crawford was removed from the game in the fourth inning Thursday after jamming his right shoulder while attempting to make a diving play. Bochy said there is “a little concern” about Crawford, whose status will be assessed once the Giants arrive in Denver on Friday.
Kevin Pillar also suffered an injury scare after crashing into the center-field wall while attempting to rob J.T. Realmuto of a three-run home run in the fourth inning. San Francisco sent out trainer Dave Groeschner to check on Pillar, who stayed in the game but came away with a charley horse. Bochy said Pillar will also be evaluated on Friday.