SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants thought Austin Slater's season was over when he tore his groin on July 8. This time, it really is over.
Slater had surgery this week to repair a sports hernia and he will miss six to eight weeks. That adds some uncertainty to his offseason, as he was supposed to get additional at-bats in the Dominican Winter League. It's unclear if Slater will return in time to play winter ball, but this certainly is a blow as he works to put himself in position to win a job next spring.
Slater finished his rookie season with a .282 average and three homers. He had a .740 OPS. Slater originally missed 52 games with the groin strain.
The news was much better for another injured Giant. First baseman Brandon Belt took BP with the team for the first time since getting hit by a curveball in early August and suffering a concussion. Belt's season has been over for several weeks, but he will have a normal and healthy offseason.
The Giants now have two draft picks from the first round of the 2012 MLB Draft in their 40-man roster.
The team claimed right-handed pitcher Pierce Johnson off waivers from the Cubs prior to Wednesday's game. Johnson, the No. 43 overall pick in that draft, was taken 23 spots after the Giants took Chris Stratton.
To make room on the roster, the Giants transferred first baseman Brandon Belt to the 60-day disabled list. Belt has been out with a concussion.
The 26-year-old Johnson made 43 appearances for Triple-A Iowa this season. He posted a 4.31 ERA with 74 strikeouts in 54.1 innings and converted nine save opportunities. Prior to the 2014 season, Johnson was ranked as the No. 87 prospect in all of baseball. He got into one game for the Cubs in May, pitching one inning and allowing two unearned runs. The Cubs designated Johnson for assignment on Sept. 13.
Brandon Belt has not played since Aug. 4 after sustaining a concussion against the D'backs, yet he still leads the Giants with 18 home runs, matching his career high.
The Giants' first baseman did so in 104 games this season. Out in Philadelphia, a rookie matched Belt's season total in... 34 games.
Rhys Hoskins, who was born and raised in Sacramento and played his college ball at Sacramento State University, matched Belt in the second inning of the Phillies game Thursday night vs. the Marlins in 70 fewer games. The 24-year-old took Vance Worley deep to right-center field for a two-run shot.
Not only did Hoskins match Belt, the long ball continued to defy baseball history.
With 18 home runs, Hoskins now has the most in history through 34 career games, according to statistician Ryan M. Spaeder. Hoskins' two-run homer gave him 39 RBI in his rookie year, also the most ever through 34 career games.
Belt is still recovering form his latest concussion and it is unknown if he will return this season. Brandon Crawford is second on the Giants with 13 home runs in 130 games.