Jung Hoo Lee

Giants' Lee to get second opinion on ‘structural damage' in shoulder

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Bob Melvin sat down in the dugout on Tuesday afternoon and said he didn't have the answers that reporters would be looking for. But a press release from the Giants might have said it all. 

A few minutes before Melvin gave injury and roster updates for what seemed like an eternity, the Giants announced that Jung Hoo Lee's MRI revealed structural damage to his left shoulder. The outfielder will travel to Los Angeles to get a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache, and the Giants said updates on the treatment options will be provided Friday.

The organization is trying to remain optimistic, and as Lee mingled with teammates in the afternoon, he did his best to put on a happy face. But Dr. ElAttrache is one of the best orthopedic surgeons in the world, and a visit to his office rarely brings good news. 

Melvin said he couldn't divulge what the first diagnosis was. He wouldn't dive into whether surgery seemed likely. 

"I'd like to have more information for you, but I don't," he said. 

At the very least, the Giants know they'll be without their center fielder for much of the rest of the season. The worst case would be season-ending surgery, which would provide the added concern that it takes some players years to fully recover from the procedure. 

For now, the Giants are committed to Luis Matos in center field. He hit a three-run homer on Monday but had a shaky night defensively. Melvin said Mike Yastrzemski is an option during in-game switches, but the preference is to leave him in right field, where he's one of the best in the game. 

"Right field is way tougher to play here than center field," Melvin said. "It's only 391 [feet] in center field. We're hearing [Matos] goes back on the ball better than in, so we have to configure where we feel like is the best place to play him. I'm not sure he got the greatest jump on that ball [Monday], but it was his first game here in quite some time. Right field is very difficult here and Yaz plays it as well as anybody."

Help Is On The Way

Blake Snell will make a rehab start with the Sacramento River Cats on Friday and then return to the big-league rotation. Snell has been out since April 24 with an adductor strain, but he felt good in a rehab appearance in San Jose on Sunday.

The Giants will go a starter short until Snell returns since they have off days on Thursday and Monday. Mason Black, who had taken that spot twice, was optioned to Triple-A on Monday, with Nick Avila coming back up as bullpen depth. 

Moving Fast

A pair of first-round picks, Hunter Bishop and Reggie Crawford, joined Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday, although they took different paths there. 

Crawford is on the fast track and was promoted after just 9 2/3 innings with Double-A Richmond. He gave up five runs on five hits and five walks, but also struck out 19. With a left-handed fastball in the upper 90s and a sharp slider, Double-A hitters were having a hard time catching up, and the Giants will now take a look at his repertoire against more advanced hitters. 

The Giants just want their 2022 first-rounder to stay healthy and get reps, but there seems at least a chance that he gets a call-up this summer. Crawford has been pitching in short relief stints since he's on an innings restriction this year.

Like Crawford, Bishop has had Tommy John surgery, and he was promoted after just one month in Double-A. Bishop had a .652 OPS in Double-A, but the Giants are desperate for outfielders at the Triple-A level since Matos and Heliot Ramos have been promoted and Wade Meckler is injured. This is the first Triple-A stint for Bishop, who was the organization's first-round pick in 2019. 

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