Mark DeRosa's freak re-injury of his wrist in the batter's box on Wednesday puts the San Francisco Giants' already limited infield in a worse position. The injury occurred while DeRosa was waiting for a pitch from Clayton Kershaw, when he suddenly fell down in pain for no apparent reason.
After the game, manager Bruce Bochy said that DeRosa will be out for a while. DeRosa's career could be in jeopardy after having the same wrist surgically repaired twice, missing last season's championship run and the first month of this season.
It's possible that DeRosa had not fully recovered from the injury before returning to the lineup. A weak wrist could account for the fact that DeRosa was hitting 0.162 and including a 0 for 32 hitless streak prior to the injury.
The Giants offensive woes weren't limited to DeRosa, as the world champions are the 28th ranked offense in the league.
Despite their offense, the Giants are currently in first place in NL West. This is primarily due to their strong pitching, which is ranked 5th in ERA and 2nd in batting average against.
Still, with third baseman Pablo Sandoval out with injury until mid-June, DeRosa's injury presents a major problem for the Giants on the left side of the infield. The Giants now only have Miguel Tejada and Mike Fontenot, both defensive liabilities, available to play.
One solution to the problem has the Giants bringing back minor league phenom Brandon Belt to play first base and moving Aubrey Huff to third, where he played as recently as 2008. Huff told the San Francisco Chronicle that he would be open to the idea.
However, Huff has proven capable defensively at first base, and constantly moving the Giants' best hitter from 2010 to different positions is not an ideal situation. In fact, the Giants have reportedly had Belt practicing in the outfield at Triple-A Fresno in order to keep Huff at first if they need Belt later this season.
Another solution has the Giants emptying their farm system and payroll in a major trade for Mets' shortstop Jose Reyes.
However, the Giants ownership under Bill Neukom has rightly shied away from making long term commitments to players and the team would be mortgaging its future for a short term gain.
In reality, the solution for the Giants is simple. Instead of panicking by moving immovable parts or breaking the bank in a trade, the Giants just need to stay competitive until Sandoval returns by getting a defensively capable shortstop.
Calling up Emmanuel Burriss, who is hitting 0.361 in Triple-A Fresno, would be the likely option. Another option would be to trade for a solid veteran like Jack Wilson from the last-place Mariners.
Either way, a defensively capable shortstop would be a huge upgrade over Tejada and his seven errors for the season. Tejada's offensive production has been improving and moving him to third would limit his liability on defense.
As for DeRosa, it's unfortunate that he won't be able to contribute to the club that signed him to a two-year $12 million contract last year. Although he has been a respected leader in the clubhouse, he simply has never contributed otherwise. The Giants will just have to move on without him.
*** Update (5/19, 8 PM EDT): The Giants have officially put DeRosa on the 15-day disabled list and called up Burriss from Triple-A Fresno. DeRosa went back to the Bay Area to have his wrist examined by doctors.