Mitch Haniger

Giants outfielders Haniger, Yastrzemski nearing return from IL

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants soon could receive a big boost with the return of two veteran outfielders.

Mitch Haniger, who underwent surgery June 16 to repair a fractured ulna, and Mike Yastrzemski (left hamstring strain) are nearing returns and could be activated for the Giants' series with the Cincinnati Reds this week.

"Yeah, possibly. Good chance that's on the table," Giants manager Gabe Kapler said Sunday of Yastrzemski returning against the Reds. "Same with Haniger, I could see that happening as well."

Yastrzemski ran the bases and took live at-bats against rehabbing relief pitcher John Brebbia on Friday and ran the bases again before Sunday's game against the Atlanta Braves with no issues.

The Giants' offense could use a boost, and even though rookie outfielders Luis Matos, Heliot Ramos and Wade Meckler have had good at-bats lately, the team will not hesitate to activate the two outfielders who they view as important pieces for their playoff push.

"I think it's more when those guys are ready it's time to have them back, and Yaz has been, for several years, one of our best hitters against right-handed pitching, a dependable center fielder, a dependable baserunner and a great teammate," Kapler shared. "So a very proven, regular, high-quality major leaguer.

"Mitch Haniger was our biggest free-agent acquisition this offseason. He's not that far removed from a 40-home-run season. I think it's pretty clear that power would be something that would help us right now. When they're physically and mentally ready, they're going to be back on the roster."

The Giants signed Haniger to a three-year, $43.5 million contract in free agency last offseason. The 32-year-old hit .230/.281/.372 with four home runs and 22 RBI in 40 games after beginning the season on the injured list with an oblique injury. Yastrzemski has been one of the Giants' more productive hitters for the better part of five seasons and, as Kapler mentioned, has success against right-handed pitching.

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