Michael Conforto

Conforto injury re-opens door for Giants outfielder Ramos

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The Giants will be without one of their best hitters for at least the next two weeks.

San Francisco placed outfielder Michael Conforto on the injured list Friday with a Grade 2 left hamstring strain. Young outfielder Heliot Ramos was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento after being optioned three days prior.

In speaking to reporters before the series opener against the Atlanta Braves on Friday at Oracle Park, Giants manager Gabe Kapler detailed the difficult conversation he had with Conforto earlier in the day.

"It was really challenging, I reached out to Michael and just said 'Hey man, I'm really sorry,' " Kapler recalled. "His response is what you might expect, he's disappointed too. I think he was feeling better at the plate and contributing to wins for us and it's a challenge for all of us, there's no question about it."

Conforto is batting .251/.343/.405 with 15 home runs, 55 RBI and 106 OPS+ in 111 games this season. The 30-year-old has been streaky this season, but hit .400 with a 1.075 OPS over his last 15 games before his injury in Thursday's game.

Losing Conforto is a big blow to a very inconsistent Giants offense, but there is one silver lining for Kapler and the team. Ramos, who impressed at the plate in his previous MLB stint, has another opportunity to carve out a consistent role for himself.

"Interestingly, a bit of an open door for Heliot Ramos," Kapler said. "It's kind of interesting how baseball is a nice analogy for some of the challenges and setbacks we have in life. Heliot was disappointed when we sent him down now that long ago. I had to have the conversation with him 'Hey, you didn't really do anything wrong... it's just, unfortunately, the roster is what it is and that's how we're going to set it up going forward.'"

"And just days later he gets the news he's coming back to San Francisco and has a chance to walk through another open door. It's pretty cool. One closes maybe on a tough situation at the time being on Michael and one opens for Heliot."

Other notes

  • Kapler said he was "fairly" optimistic Conforto would not be sidelined much longer than the initial two-week timeline. That probably would be the best-case scenario, but it sounds like Conforto could have a chance to return before the end of the regular season.
  • Right-handed reliever John Brebbia (Grade 2 lat strain) threw a simulated game Friday and his fastball velocity was up around 94 mph which is a good sign his rehab is going smoothly. He will begin a rehab assignment soon and is expected to pitch in High-A San Jose in the coming days.
  • Outfielder Mike Yastrzemski (left hamstring strain) took live batting practice against Brebbia and ran the bases with zero issues. Kapler is "optimistic" Yastrzemski will return soon.
  • Kapler said rookie starting pitcher Kyle Harrison likely will make his second MLB start in the Giants' upcoming series against the Cincinnati Reds, which could be Monday against lefty Andrew Abbott. The Giants will increase Harrison's pitch count from the 65-pitch limit he had in his debut on Tuesday.

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