Luis Matos

Giants notes: What Matos must work on at Triple-A; Gonzalez DFA'd

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SAN FRANCISCO -- One of the best days of Wade Meckler's life led to disappointment for two other young Giants outfielders.

The Meckler addition was part of a flurry of moves, with Johan Camargo also joining the MLB roster and Luis Matos and Mark Mathias heading down to Triple-A. To clear 40-man roster spots, the Giants put right-hander Anthony DeSclafani on the 60-day IL and DFA'd outfielder Luis Gonzalez, who had just completed the long rehab from back surgery.

Matos will be back, and he still looks like the most likely choice to be the long-term center fielder at Oracle Park. But Gonzalez's run with the Giants is likely over. He was going to be out of options next season and they did not see him in their plans the next six weeks, as others -- including Meckler -- have passed him on the depth chart.

"He had some big hits for us and I actually think Luis is a really good hitter and a good athlete, a fast, twitchy athlete," manager Gabe Kapler said. "It just wasn't the best roster fit for us right now and it was a tough year and sometimes, even though you don't want to lose a player and don't want to take a player off the 40-man roster, you do because you have other things that you need to focus your attention on. In this case, it was Wade Meckler."

Gonzalez was a roughly league-average hitter for the Giants last season and came into camp this spring hoping to play his way back into the mix. But a back injury led to surgery, and he didn't return to the field in Triple-A until late July.

By that point, Matos was entrenched at Oracle Park, although he seemed likely to lose his spot in some way this week. The Giants expected Mike Yastrzemski back on Tuesday, but when he had a setback with his hamstring, they swapped Meckler in for Matos.

Kapler met with Matos in the afternoon and said he told the 21-year-old that he wants him to aim for a future batting title and Gold Glove Award. Matos got off to a promising start in the big leagues but had a .241/.306/.316 slash line and just one homer at the time of his demotion.

The Giants always knew Matos would need to work on adding strength to his frame this offseason. Kapler said he wants Matos to make that a priority back in Triple-A, too.

"He doesn't have to do anything different with his swing," Kapler said. "It's not a, 'Make this swing change or that approach change.' That all looks pretty good right now. It's more, we want him to get rewarded for the good, solid contact. He can get a little stronger, so we discussed that."

While a lot of Matos' fly balls were dying on the track, he also had several that dropped in front of him in recent weeks. Kapler said Matos will work on his defensive jumps in Triple-A.

"I think he put a little bit of pressure on himself," Kapler said. "He kind of got off to a rocky start with respect to the jumps and he put a little pressure on himself to get a better jump and maybe second-guessed himself a little bit. You could see that happening, where it just took him a second to recognize where the ball was going to be before he went after it."

RELATED: Takeaways from Giants' loss to Rays in Meckler's debut

--- Yastrzemski was supposed to return to the lineup Tuesday, but he had a setback while running the bases over the weekend and will be shut down for the rest of the week. This is the third time Yastrzemski has been on the IL with a left hamstring strain this season and he had another MRI on Monday that confirmed a Grade 1 strain, but Kapler said he's confident Yastrzemski can get over the hurdle down the stretch.

--- Wilmer Flores was a late scratch because of what the Giants called an ear infection and nausea. Camargo went into the starting lineup and was 1-for-4 in his Giants debut with a couple of strikeouts. Kapler said he's hopeful Flores is available Tuesday.

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