Breaking: Giants’ Tristan Beck Won’t Throw For Eight Weeks; Sean Hjelle Diagnosed With Elbow Sprain

The Giants announced this morning that right-hander Tristan Beck underwent successful surgery to repair an aneurysm in his right shoulder. He won’t throw for at least eight weeks. San Francisco also announced that right-hander Sean Hjelle has an elbow sprain and will be reevaluated in two weeks’ time. That represents a further blow to the team’s pitching depth, though Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic tweets that Hjelle’s ulnar collateral ligament is intact. A timetable for his return won’t be known until that reevaluation, however.

It’s already been known that Beck would be facing a long absence after testing late last month found the aneurysm. The Giants placed him on the 60-day injured list this week when opening a roster spot for newly signed Matt Chapman. An eight-week shutdown period would stretch from now until April 30. Beck would then need to slowly ramp up, starting with light throwing on flat ground, to pitching off a mound, to facing live hitters and eventually pitching in minor league rehab games.

That process would require more than a month, in all likelihood, putting a potential return date somewhere in June, at the earliest. Of course, that’s all contingent on avoiding any setbacks and on Beck’s body recovering as hoped. The Giants will surely have updates along the way.

Tristan Beck Won't Throw For Eight Weeks; Sean Hjelle Diagnosed With Elbow  Sprain - MLB Trade Rumors

The news on Hjelle likely subtracts another depth option who could’ve stepped up to help fill Beck’s spot early in the season. Hjelle, a towering 6’11” 26-year-old, posted strong numbers in Double-A back in 2021 but has since struggled both as a starter and reliever in Triple-A and in the big leagues. The former second-round pick worked primarily as a starter in Triple-A Sacramento last year, struggling to a 6.00 ERA in 19 starts (plus three relief appearances) in that ultra-hitter-friendly setting. He made another 15 relief appearances with the big league club, posting 29 innings with a similarly disheartening 6.52 earned run average.

Hjelle sports an unsightly 6.17 ERA in 54 MLB innings but his 23.2% strikeout rate, 8.3% walk rate and huge 56% ground-ball rate all portend better results over a larger sample. He’s been plagued by a sky-high .399 average on balls in play despite yielding just an 89 mph average exit velocity. Metrics like FIP (3.89) and SIERA (3.35) feel Hjelle has been far, far better in his limited big league time than his ERA would indicate.

Giants skipper Bob Melvin had already called out Hjelle as someone who could perhaps move into a rotation role to help compensate for the injury to Beck and provide some insurance in the event that right-hander Keaton Winn’s elbow issue flares back up. (Winn was briefly shut down earlier in camp due to a nerve issue but has since resumed throwing without issue.) Instead, it appears quite likely that Hjelle will also open the season on the injured list. A two-week period without throwing will conclude with just over a week to go until Opening Day. Even if Hjelle were able to immediate pitch in games — which seems unlikely — it’s hard to imagine him ramping up to the point where he could be a viable rotation option.

Tristan Beck injury update: Giants starter shut down for eight weeks after  undergoing vascular surgery -

At the moment, the Giants’ rotation consists of Logan Webb, top prospect Kyle Harrison, reliever-turned-starter Jordan Hicks and the aforementioned Winn. A competition for the fifth spot could include trade acquisition Ethan Small, prospect Kai-Wei Teng (already on the 40-man roster) and perhaps in-house nonroster pitchers like Carson Whisenhunt and Mason Black.

It was a perilously thin group even when all of Winn, Beck and Hjelle looked healthy. The Giants have been banking on this mix to carry them into the middle portion of the season. Alex Cobb will open on the injured list while rehabbing from October hip surgery but could be back within the first couple months of the season. Trade acquisition Robbie Ray is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and will be out until the final third of the season or so. Injuries to Beck and to Hjelle have only further called into question whether such an unproven group can steady the course until the Giants’ more veteran reinforcements arrive.

The Giants have been active in free agency late in the offseason, with signings of Chapman and Jorge Soler both completed after the beginning of spring training. Even with that pair of additions — plus their earlier pickups of Hicks and center fielder Jung Hoo Lee — reigning Cy Young winner Blake Snell is reportedly still a consideration. Fellow southpaw Jordan Montgomery is also still on the market, as are lower-tier arms like Mike Clevinger, Michael Lorenzen, Eric Lauer and others.

Giants RHP Sean Hjelle has a sprained elbow - McCovey Chronicles

San Francisco currently projects for a payroll just under $182MM, per RosterResource. Their projected luxury tax ledger currently sits at $231MM — just $6MM or so shy of the first threshold. Signing Snell or Montgomery will assuredly put the team over that line, and Snell would require further forfeitures in the amateur draft and international free agency. The Giants already punted their second-highest pick and $500K of next year’s international bonus pool space to sign Chapman; Snell would require surrendering their third-round pick and an additional $500K of international spending capacity. Both players would also result in the Giants paying a 20% tax for the first $20MM by which the luxury barrier is exceeded, plus a 32% tax on the next $20MM.

It’s possible that even Lorenzen or Clevinger could push the Giants into tax territory, although there are other moves that could be made to counteract that. The signing of Chapman, for instance, could make J.D. Davis and his $6.9MM salary more expendable. If the Giants were able to move Davis and some/all of that salary, they could create as much as $13MM in breathing room between themselves and the $237MM tax line.

Related Posts

Our Privacy policy - © 2024 News