Giants’ Mike Yastrzemski likely to miss handful of games with oblique strain

Mike Yastrzemski was out of the Giants’ increasingly depleted lineup Monday against the Rockies, but the Giants hope to avoid placing their right fielder and No. 2 hitter on the injured list.

Yastrzemski left Sunday’s wet, muddy game with a mild oblique strain, typically a difficult injury for batters, and manager Gabe Kapler suggested he might miss five or six games. Any more than that and he would be an IL candidate, because the team already is playing with a short bench.

Shortstop Brandon Crawford, on the heels of missing time with quad tightness, has not been in the lineup for three days because of rib-cage tightness, but Kapler said he hopes Crawford will be able start Tuesday.

Second baseman Donovan Solano is on the IL with a calf strain and LaMonte Wade Jr. with an oblique strain. Evan Longoria was back at third Monday after missing three games with hamstring tightness.

There are a number of reasons that muscle tightness and strains are affecting the Giants to such an extent right now, including the cold weather this month, the team’s age — its position players average 31.5 years old, oldest in the majors, and Kapler suggested that the recent cross-country trip to Miami and Philadelphia played a role because many of the issues occurred during or after those long flights, the first for the team since 2019.

Like most pro sports teams, the Giants are diligent about stretching and warming up correctly, and the medical staff is considered top-notch, but Kapler said he has concerns about the players doing too much pregame work. Tired muscles can be more prone to injury.

“We are figuring out ways to get these guys recovery,” he said. “We’re all for hard work, and I think we worked really hard in spring training — now that we’re in season, and every day these guys are getting their reps in game, limiting some of the things that we do prior to the game can be a big advantage over the course of 162 games.

“With respect to injury prevention, that’s something that we’re thinking about as the first month or so of this season we’ve had some soft-tissue injuries.”

Kapler said that Yastrzemski is valuable enough to the team that if he’s going to need only a few games off, there’s no reason to put him on the IL, but at the six- or seven-game mark, the Giants would have to re-evaluate. He’ll be monitored as the team tries to walk the line between making sure he can play as many games as possible versus going too long with a thin bench.

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