The San Francisco Giants outfield took another blow last night, with Nori Aoki being placed on the 15-day disabled list, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. X-rays reveled a fracture in his right fibula, and the plan is to have Aoki re-evaluated in two weeks.
Aoki was originally injured Saturday night in Los Angeles after being hit by a pitch from Dodgers righty Carlos Frias. However, tests after the incident didn't reveal that fracture. He was in the lineup as of Tuesday afternoon but after running some sprints, the pain worsened and he was sent for new X-rays.
The 33-year-old has been playing exceptionally well for the Giants this season after signing a one-year, $4.7 million deal with a club option this past winter. Aoki was hitting .317/.383/.385 with two home runs and 12 steals before suffering the injury.
What do the Giants do?
The team is now without Aoki and Hunter Pence, two-thirds of its starting outfield. Initially, one could believe that Justin Maxwell and Gregor Blanco will see more playing time as a result. Another possibilty that Schulman discusses is moving Brandon Belt to left field, Buster Posey to first base, and giving Andrew Susac everyday catching duties.
A Posey permanent move to first base has been in the works for a while now. Playing him there consistently will likely make him more comfortable when he makes the permanent switch.
What about external options?
The Giants are 38-34 and only one game back of the Dodgers. They could believe that now is the time to make a move and acquire a bat to help them survive being without two starting outfielders. Ben Zobrist is available and has played some outfield in his career and would provide some infield versatility when everybody is healthy. They could even call San Diego Padres and try to pry Justin Upton from them.
With the injury news being so fresh, it's hard to know where the Giants are it in terms of making moves, but they will have to make up their minds quickly or else the Dodgers could pull away with the division quickly.