Giants activate LaMonte Wade Jr., place Thairo Estrada and Wilmer Flores on IL

Ahead of a crucial three-game home series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the San Francisco Giants made a predictable and highly anticipated move, activating first baseman LaMonte Wade Jr. from the injured list. 10 days. But the corresponding moves were less expected, with the Giants announcing that second baseman Thairo Estrada and first baseman Wilmer Flores would take Wade’s place on the 10-day injured list, the former with a sprained left wrist and the second with knee tendinitis. In a final move, infielder Tyler Fitzgerald was recalled from AAA Sacramento.

The return of Wade, who hasn’t played since May 27, will be a major boost for the Giants. He’s been one of their best players this season, batting .333/.470/.426 and earning 1.9 fWAR despite playing just 52 games. The offense needs a top-tier player like him, and he slots right into Friday’s series opener at No. 2 between leadoff hitter Jorge Soler and third-hole hitter Heliot Ramos.

But losing Estrada hurts. He has been one of the team’s most reliable players, appearing in 77 of the team’s 82 games. Estrada has been a bit below average as a hitter this year, but he more than makes up for it with stellar defense, and his clutch hitting and leadership have been on display this year. But it’s important to keep him healthy: In a recent episode of the Giants Talk podcast, NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic said he’s never seen a player in an MLB clubhouse go through so many post-match ice cream than Estrada. And it seems to have a pretty big impact on his game: Over the last 17 games, Estrada has hit just 10-63 with a homer, two doubles, two walks and 14 strikeouts. I hope he can rest and return to full health.

Flores’ loss has less impact, as the veteran right-hander has really struggled this season. Maybe he has a nagging injury and will come back stronger after he has time to heal.

With Estrada out, Brett Wisely will start at second tonight, and Fitzgerald feels comfortable at the position. But it’s certainly worth noting that Marco Luciano has played second base in his last three games in Triple-A, so maybe the Giants planned this move, and maybe we’ll see Luciano if he has a good game or two in Sacramento. And with Flores on the injured list, David Villar’s spot on the roster is safe for a while, as he provides the only real insurance at first base.

Hopefully Estrada and Flores recover and can play solidly late in the game. And thank goodness Late Night LaMonte is back!

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