SAN FRANCISCO -- As he is wont to do, Giants manager Gabe Kapler opened his pregame Zoom session with reporters on Monday by giving injury updates ahead of the Giants’ series opener against the Rockies at Oracle Park. He had quite a few names to run through:
• Right fielder Mike Yastrzemski underwent an MRI exam on Monday morning that revealed a “very mild” left oblique strain and could miss five to six games, but the Giants are hoping he’ll be able to avoid the injured list.
“He’s a pretty important piece of our team,” Kapler said. “If we feel like it’s going to be two, three, four days, we probably want to try to keep him around. If it looks like it’s going to be six, seven, eight days or more, then it probably makes sense to make a roster move. We haven’t had enough of those conversations to make that determination yet today. I think those are ongoing.”
• Third baseman Evan Longoria returned to the starting lineup against Rockies left-hander Austin Gomber on Monday -- going 2-for-2 with 3 RBIs in the Giants' 12-0 win -- after missing three games with left hamstring tightness. The Giants will continue to monitor Longoria’s workload, but he “feels good enough to be in there,” per Kapler.
• Shortstop Brandon Crawford was out of the lineup for the third consecutive day with right quad tightness, but the Giants are hoping he’ll be able to return to action on Tuesday.
While the injuries have been mounting over the past week, Kapler took solace in the fact that most of their position players have been able to avoid joining second baseman Donovan Solano (right calf strain) on the IL.
Kapler said the Giants’ cross-country travel might have played a role in the recent rash of soft-tissue injuries and said the coaching staff has been encouraging players to be mindful of their pregame work to help them stay fresh and healthy throughout the 162-game season.
“I think figuring out ways to get these guys recovery that is not about in-game, but more about pregame, is a big key to this,” Kapler said. “We’re all for hard work, and I think we all work hard in Spring Training. Now that we’re in-season and every day these guys are getting their reps in-game, even in the cage getting ready for pinch-hit at-bats, by way of example, limiting some of the things that we do prior to the game can be a big advantage over the course of 162 games. With respect to injury prevention, that’s something that we’re thinking about.”
More injury news
• Right-hander Johnny Cueto (Grade 1 lat strain) is scheduled to throw bullpen sessions on Wednesday and Saturday and is expected to ramp up to live batting practice next week. The Giants aren’t expecting him to rejoin the starting rotation until May 9 at the earliest.
• Reliever Reyes Moronta (right flexor strain) is slated to throw a live bullpen session and could be activated as early as May 3 in Colorado, according to Kapler.
• Right-hander Tyler Beede looked good in his first post-Tommy John surgery live bullpen session at Oracle Park on Monday, stoking optimism that he’ll be a potential rotation option for the Giants once he’s eligible to come off the 60-day IL on May 31.
“It went great,” Kapler said. “The velocity was there. He threw his curveball and changeup for strikes. It was definitely encouraging to see.”
Outfielder LaMonte Wade Jr (left oblique strain) was one of the players who faced Beede on Monday, but Kapler said the Giants want to give him “at least one more live look” before activating him off the IL.