Examining Alex Dickerson's Giants impact as he starts rehab assignment

Examining Alex Dickerson's Giants impact as he starts rehab assignment

SAN FRANCISCO -- Three words in a press release from Triple-A Sacramento could have a huge impact on the Giants and their wild-card hopes. The River Cats put out some roster moves Tuesday afternoon and included the line "Add Alex Dickerson."

It's the start of an important rehab assignment that should be a pretty short one. If Dickerson's oblique is healthy, the Giants are going to get him back in the heart of their lineup, and they're going to do it quickly. No player has had as great an impact on their fortunes this year as the man who inspires "Dick" chants. 

In the 73 games before Dickerson arrived, the Giants were 31-42 and averaging just 3.8 runs per game. Dickerson entered the lineup at Chase Field and drove in six runs his first night. He was hitting .386 with a 1.222 OPS for the Giants when he went on the IL after the trade deadline, with six homers and 23 RBI in just 88 at-bats.

The Giants played 34 games from Dickerson's first appearance through his final one July 30. They won 23 of them, averaging 5.5 runs per game and upping their home run rate from .9 per game to 1.3. The lineup hit .223 and slugged .366 before Dickerson arrived but was at .263 and .453 during those 34 games. 

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Since Dickerson's last at-bat, the Giants are 5-7 and once again back to 3.8 runs per game, but there's good news hidden behind those numbers. The lineup's slash line of .262/.321/.447 since he went down is just about the same as the .263/.327/453 slash line while he was playing. 

So, the Giants are still much better at the plate than they were those first three months, but they certainly could use their new slugger back in the middle of the lineup. The good news is he should be back in the next couple of days. 

Watch Giants prospect Jacob Heyward get ejected on call by robot umpire


Watch Giants prospect Jacob Heyward get ejected on call by robot umpire

Players getting angry towards an umpire is synonymous with baseball. And during the Arizona Fall League, it's no different ... even if you're arguing with technology.

During a Tuesday fall league game, Giants outfield prospect Jacob Heyward, the younger brother of Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward, was ejected after striking out on a call made by a robot umpire:

Looks low and inside, right?

But if you scroll to the next photo of the Instagram post, the pitch tracker shows it was, indeed, a strike. 

So who (or what) was Heyward yelling at if he was unsatisfied with the call? Heyward appears to claim his displeasure wasn't with the home plate umpire -- who simply was relaying the call from a computer system -- but he was ejected nevertheless.

This year, the automated ball-strike system (ABS) has been implemented to use at all games being played at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The independent Atlantic League first tested the technology, which includes a real-life umpire still manning duties behind the plate. The ump receives communications via an earpiece that's connected to an iPhone, and then relays the call from the TrackMan computer system.

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Yes, it's complicated.

Despite Heyward's reaction, the data shows the pitch was a strike. And even if this is the case from now on (MLB will sometimes adopt these "experiments" down the line) the human element of emotions still will always come into play. 

MLB rumors: Giants interested in Royals' Mike Matheny for manager job

MLB rumors: Giants interested in Royals' Mike Matheny for manager job

The carousel continues to turn for the Giants manager job.

Former Giants catcher Mike Matheny has drawn interest from San Francisco for its managerial position,’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports.

Matheny played his final two MLB seasons with the Giants and retired from baseball in 2007. The four-time Gold Glove winner managed the Cardinals from 2012-18, finishing with 591 wins and 474 losses, good for a .555 winning percentage. 

He has spent the past two seasons with the Kansas City Royals as a special advisor for player development. 

[RELATED: Source: Giants interested in Cubs' Venable for manager job]

It is important to note the Giants have not been reported to have reached out to Matheny or brought him in for an interview.

As the process continues, Matheny is not likely to be the last name we hear associated with interviewing to take over for Bruce Bochy in San Francisco.