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Why Giants made a late roster move adding outfielder Basabe

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The Giants got some good news late Monday night when an X-ray came back negative on Alex Dickerson's right knee, and a day later Dickerson was back in the lineup. But perhaps there's more concern than that would first indicate.

A late roster move got outfielder Luis Basabe on the roster and sent utility man Daniel Robertson back to the alternate site in Sacramento. It's a bit of a surprise on the surface, but not when you look more closely at the outfield picture. 

If you count Mauricio Dubon as a center fielder and Darin Ruf as a left fielder, the Giants previously had five outfielders on the roster, but with Dickerson now a bit banged up and Austin Slater still dealing with an elbow strain that has kept him from playing the outfield since August 11. Ruf is someone they try to get off the field in late innings if they can, too. 

Basabe, acquired from the White Sox last month for cash considerations, gives Gabe Kapler a bit more outfield depth and a good defender for the late innings. He's a speedster, too, which could come in handy given how often the staff is pinch-running for players more suited for DH duty at this stage of their careers. Basabe was previously called up as the 29th man for a doubleheader with the Dodgers and got into a game as a pinch-runner. 

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The Giants have not given a real update on Slater's status recently, saying he is rehabbing and getting closer to being cleared for the outfield. But it's telling that he hasn't played there in nearly a month and was not cleared to let it rip once he returned from a groin injury. 

 

There's another interesting part about this move. There are no stats coming out of the Sacramento site, so it's hard to know who is doing well and who is struggling, but Basabe was chosen over Jaylin Davis, who started the season in the big leagues but has not been back since being optioned July 31.