Giants put Billy Hamilton and Jarlin Garcia on injured list

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Giants placed outfielder Billy Hamilton and left-handed Jarlin Garcia on the injured list, manager Gabe Kapler told reporters Thursday (Twitter link via Kerry Crowley of the San Jose Mercury News). Kapler could not specify beyond the recognition that the moves were “for medical purposes”.Immediate speculation will gravitate toward COVID-19, although it is certainly possible that one or even both may address other issues. Teams generally disclose details of injuries, but the broader medical concerns that force players to stay off the pitch are often unclear. It should also be noted that even when a player is placed on the COVID-19 IL, this does not necessarily indicate that he has been tested positive. Players can be placed on the IL after experiencing symptoms or contacting a person who tests positive. The exact circumstances surrounding Hamilton and Garcia’s IL placements are unknown, but the hope, as always, is that the two can return to the field quickly and in good health.

Hamilton and Garcia are both newcomers to the Giants organization. Hamilton, the longtime defensive player for the Reds, is one of the fastest players in baseball and brings a superlative glove to a team that plays in one of the most cavernous stadiums in the game (Oracle Park). He signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training for the Major League during the off-season, but was widely expected to win a spot in the lineup in the early days of camp.

Last year, 29-year-old Hamilton only beat .218 / .289 / .275 in 353 appearances between the Royals and the Braves last year, but he was excellent on the field as habit. Despite a record 826 innings in the field, Hamilton recorded eight defensive points, an ultimate area rating of 7.9 and seven above-average outs (by Statcast).

Garcia, meanwhile, was asked for waivers in February. The 27-year-old was somewhat of a DFA surprise by the Marlins, having presented a BPM of 3.02 in 50 2/3 frames the previous season. Garcia’s peripheral numbers weren’t as pretty; he posted a 3.77 FIP and 4.74 xFIP with an average of 6.9 K / 9 against 2.8 BB / 9. Garcia also took advantage of an average of .248 on the balls in play, although this is in line with his career to date. Even if there is a regression in store on the line, it is controllable for four other seasons, so it’s easy to see why the Giants were happy to take a safe flight on the left-hander.

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