The Justin Smoak Era at Oracle Park didn't last long. The veteran was designated for assignment on Monday afternoon after just six at-bats for the team, clearing the way for Alex Dickerson to return from the paternity list.
Smoak was added to the roster before the last road trip and ended up being part of one of the strangest stretches in franchise history. His first series with the Giants was disrupted by a false positive on Dickerson's COVID-19 test and the next series was shifted to San Francisco because of poor air quality in San Francisco.
Smoak was hitless in those six at-bats with two strikeouts, and he didn't play over the weekend against the A's. The Giants had hoped he could provide some left-handed thump after he took Pablo Sandoval's spot, but they now will prioritize other needs.
Manager Gabe Kapler said the Giants viewed Smoak only as a designated hitter and it became hard to carry him given the fact that Austin Slater (elbow strain) is limited to DH duty right now and Mike Yastrzemski (calf) is sidelined. They preferred to keep someone like Daniel Robertson, who can play multiple infield spots as well as the outfield.
"It just created a lack of positional flexibility for us," Kapler said.
Dickerson returns after flying to San Diego to witness the birth of his son over the weekend. He'll be in the lineup Monday night against Rockies right-hander German Marquez for the first game of the season-ending eight-game homestand. The Giants enter the week tied for the final wild-card playoff spot.