Longoria to undergo finger surgery, dealing blow to Giants originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
With less than two weeks until Opening Day, the Giants got some bad news regarding one of their most important position players.
Third baseman Evan Longoria will have surgery on Tuesday to repair a ligament in his right index finger, the team announced. Longoria’s recovery time will be determined after the procedure, but his finger will be immobilized for at least 10 days.
Longoria had not yet played in a game this spring, although the Giants seemed to be planning for that. They have been intentionally slow-playing Longoria, Brandon Belt (knee irritation) and Tommy La Stella (Achilles), knowing the veterans don’t need many at-bats to get ready, but Longoria now will miss Opening Day and possibly much more.
Longoria was hit on the hand last August and missed 10 games, and he also missed a big chunk of the season after colliding with Brandon Crawford and injuring his shoulder. The Giants were much better suited to fill in the gap last season, though, particularly after they acquired Kris Bryant.
Bryant is now a member of the Colorado Rockies, Buster Posey is retired and Donovan Solano signed with the Cincinnati Reds, leaving Longoria as one of Gabe Kapler’s key weapons against left-handed pitching. He was expected to hit in the middle of the order against lefties, but the Giants now have a relatively unbalanced group.
Wilmer Flores can take over at third in the short term but the Giants prefer not to play him on the dirt every day. Thairo Estrada already is being called upon to take over for Solano. The Giants also have Mauricio Dubon as an option, although he is more comfortable up the middle. Luke Williams, acquired over the weekend, has extensive minor league experience at third base and could be in the mix, along with non-roster invitee Alex Blandino.
None of them can replace Longoria, though. The 36-year-old played strong defense when healthy last year and had a .892 OPS in 50 games before the shoulder injury.
The surgery will take place in Los Angeles with Dr. Steven Shin doing the ligament repair. The Giants open the season a few days later, hosting the Miami Marlins on April 8.