Before Sunday's series finale in San Diego, Giants manager Gabe Kapler said he had "no concerns at all" about infielder Tommy La Stella, who was off to a slow start at the plate and had a couple of recent rough plays on the defensive end. After the game, there was a lot of concern.
The Giants beat the San Diego Padres 7-1 but might have lost a second baseman for the second time in less than two weeks. Already without Donovan Solano (calf strain), Kapler watched La Stella limp off the field in the fifth. La Stella has a left hamstring strain and will get an MRI, and he looks very likely to join Solano on the IL.
"I'm concerned about it. Obviously he didn't look good coming off the field and anytime that happens to one of the core people on your team -- anybody on your team -- it's concerning," Kapler said. "For both Tommy and for the Giants, I have concern."
Second base might have been the deepest position on the roster at the end of the spring, so the Giants will be able to weather this storm temporarily. Wilmer Flores can slide in as the starter and Mauricio Dubon came up as a second baseman in 2019 and has been playing strong defense at shortstop over the last couple of weeks as Brandon Crawford has dealt with his own minor injury concerns. The Giants also can recall Jason Vosler from the alternate site, adding a left-handed bat to the mix.
They are, however, starting to feel the pinch of all of the soft-tissue strains. If La Stella misses time, they'll be down both of their starting second basemen, and with Mike Yastrzemski on the IL until at least Friday with an oblique strain, they appear headed to Coors Field without their top two bats in the lineup against right-handed pitching.
La Stella had just a .292 OBP and .308 slugging percentage entering the day, but he had two hits and scored two runs before departing. His triple extended the lead to four, and he raced home on a grounder a couple minutes later to make it 6-1. That's when he got hurt.
"He plays so hard," Kapler said. "Tommy shows you that every play is big. He's diving for anything that he's close to getting to and runs the bases so hard and prepares so well. That makes it even more disappointing, to know that he may be down for a bit."