Just when Reyes Moronta seemed to be climbing the ladder in the bullpen, he suffered a potentially big blow.
The Giants put the right-hander on the 10-day IL on Sunday morning with a right flexor strain, an injury that sometimes can be a precursor to a long layoff. To fill Moronta's roster spot, they added outfielder LaMonte Wade Jr. from the alternate training site in Sacramento.
There was no other information about Moronta before Sunday's game, as manager Gabe Kapler didn't give his pre-game press conference until a little less than 90 minutes before first pitch and said only that the Giants were waiting on medical information. The lineup wasn't posted until about 40 minutes before first pitch, with Wade Jr. playing center field and batting eighth.
Moronta had shoulder surgery in September of 2019 and missed all of last season as he rehabbed. He was slow-played this spring, and there has seemed to be something off the entire time. Moronta's fastball velocity was way down in the spring and through four appearances, he's averaging 93.9 mph. In 2019, he was at 97.2 mph. Moronta repeatedly said that he was hopeful the velocity would come back.
Despite the diminished stuff, Moronta was off to a good start. He threw a scoreless seventh in Saturday's win over the Rockies and has allowed just one hit in four innings while primarily relying on his slider.
Moronta looked headed for a setup role in a bullpen that desperately needs a reliable right-hander or two, but that'll be on hold for at least a few weeks.