DeSclafani to have season-ending ankle surgery

July 4th, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants will be without their No. 3 starter for the rest of the year, as manager Gabe Kapler said Sunday that right-hander will undergo season-ending surgery on his troublesome right ankle on July 12.

DeSclafani said the procedure, which will be performed by Dr. Robert Anderson in Green Bay, Wis., will set a subluxed peroneal tendon in his drive ankle and is expected to have a recovery period of four to five months. 

“Obviously, a huge disappointment and just frustrating,” DeSclafani said. “I haven’t been able to give the team any quality innings.” 

DeSclafani was limited to only five starts this year due to persistent ankle pain, logging a 9.95 ERA over 19 innings, though he said he’s confident the surgery will finally resolve the issue and allow him to return to form next year.

“Anthony worked really hard following last season to come to camp healthy and to be the best version that he could possibly be for the Giants,” Kapler said. “I appreciate the work ethic and how much he gave to us. We know he’s going to give that same level of effort in this rehab process and the optimistic view is he’s going to come back as healthy as he’s been for the beginning of 2023.”

DeSclafani dealt with ankle issues last year, though he still emerged as one of the Giants’ most reliable starters, recording a 3.17 ERA over 31 starts. He re-signed with San Francisco on a three-year, $36 million deal over the offseason, but the ankle inflammation cropped up again in April, leading to a stint on the 60-day injured list.

DeSclafani missed two months while rehabbing the injury and briefly rejoined the rotation on June 21, though his return lasted only two starts, as he ended up returning to the IL on Friday with the same issue. Kapler said DeSclafani felt he was “hitting a wall” in his attempts to heal, leading the Giants to explore surgical intervention.

“I think it’s more of a relief, knowing that this will probably take care of the issue and be 100% ready to go next year,” DeSclafani said. 

With DeSclafani and Jakob Junis sidelined, the Giants are moving forward with a four-man rotation for now, though they called up pitching prospect Sean Hjelle to serve as a bulk-innings option in Sunday’s bullpen game against the White Sox. Hjelle and Sam Long should be candidates to help the Giants cover innings until Junis is ready to return.

Junis has been out since June 10 with a left hamstring strain, but he’s resumed throwing bullpen sessions and is on track to slide back into the rotation later this month. The 29-year-old right-hander emerged as a huge pickup for the Giants this year, logging a 2.63 ERA over nine appearances (seven starts) before landing on the IL.

“I think we have some good options,” Kapler said. “We’re pretty good at managing bullpen days. Jakob Junis is not far away for us. We’ll do the best we can under the circumstances.”