Giants’ Injury Woes Mount With Jung Hoo Lee Surgery

Jung Hoo Lee

Getty San Francisco Giants center fielder Jung Hoo Lee.

The San Francisco Giants’ injury situation keeps getting worse.

The Giants announced on May 17 that center fielder Jung Hoo Lee will miss the rest of the season with a dislocated left shoulder. He was injured on May 12 when he slammed into the center-field fence while trying to catch a drive by the Cincinnati Reds’ Jeimer Candelario in a game at Oracle Park in San Francisco.

Lee, placed on the 10-day injured list on May 13, is expected to have surgery in the next few weeks.

The Giants signed Lee to a six-year, $113-million contract as a free agent during the offseason after he starred in the Korean Baseball Organization in his native South Korea. He was hitting .262 with two home runs and two stolen bases in 37 games this season and had minus-1 defensive run saved.

While Lee’s statistics have been pedestrian, the Giants were hopeful his production would improve once he got acclimated to the major leagues.

Injuries, Poor Performances Costing Giants

Lee is one of 11 players on the IL for the Giants.

That list includes San Francisco’s top two catchers Patrick Bailey (concussion) and Tom Murphy (knee) along with shortstop Nick Ahmed (wrist), right fielder Michael Conforto (hamstring) and outfielder Austin Slater (concussion).

Additionally, the Giants have five starting pitchers on the IL in left-handers Robbie Ray (Tommy John surgery) and Blake Snell (groin) — both former Cy Young Award winners – and right-handers Tristan Beck (upper arm vascular surgery), Alex Cobb (groin) and Keaton Winn (forearm).

Winn was added to the IL on May 17 before the Giants hosted the Colorado Rockies in the opener of a three-game series.

Not surprisingly, the Giants have struggled with so many players on the shelf. They had a 20-25 record entering play on May 17, putting them in fourth place in the National League West and 8 ½ games behind the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Giants lost two of three games to the Dodgers from May 13-15 in Los Angeles immediately after Lee was injured.

Lee, Murphy, Ahmed, Snell and Cobb were all part of the Giants’ offseason free agent spending spree as were right-hander Jordan Hicks, third baseman Matt Chapman and designated hitter Jorge Soler.

Hicks is 3-1 with a 2.44 ERA in nine starts this season after being converted from a relief pitcher. However, Chapman is hitting just .206/.258/.341 with five home runs in 44 games and Soler, who came off the IL on May 17 after missing nine games with a shoulder injury, is slashing .202/.294/.361 with five homers in 34 games.

Luis Matos Filling in Well in Short Term

The Giants are counting on Luis Matos to take Lee’s spot, at least, until some of the other injured outfielders make their way back to the active roster. He was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento when Lee was placed on the IL and has started each of the ensuing three games in center field, going 4 for 12 with one homer and five RBIs.

Matos, 22, made his major-league debut last season with the Giants and hit .250/.319/.342 with two homers and three steals in 76 games. However, despite the incredible catch above, he also had minus-10 defensive runs saved, which was part of why Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi made signing a center fielder like Lee an offseason priority.

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