The Giants’ disastrous 2017 season has taken another turn for the worse, as the team announced Wednesday that closer Mark Melancon is headed to the 10-day disabled list with a right pronator strain.
This is the second time this season that the arm injury has forced Melancon to hit the DL. The three-time All-Star was out of action from May 6-17 while dealing with the ailment, which pretty clearly has limited his effectiveness in 2017. This time, he’s set to undergo an MRI on his elbow and could be out for a much longer period of time.
Melancon, who signed a four-year deal worth $62 million with the Giants in December, is in the midst of one of the worst seasons of his career. Through 22 appearances, he has a 4.35 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP, and he’s converted just 11 of 15 save opportunities.
Rumors swirled in recent weeks that Melancon was still dealing with the injury, and manager Bruce Bochy’s usage of him certainly backed up that hypothesis, as he hadn’t pitched on back-to-back days since May 19-20. As Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area tweeted on Wednesday, Melancon’s willingness to pitch through the injury was a major reason why the Giants were so offended by a recent story which suggested he created tension in the clubhouse:
Btw, this is one reason there was such a strong reaction to FOX story Monday. Giants knew Melancon wasn't 100 percent, but wanted to pitch.— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) June 28, 2017
Melancon, 32, was considered a fringe trade candidate, though the odds of him being dealt were unlikely since he’s still owed so much money, has a full no-trade clause, and has been ineffective this year, basically negating the Giants’ ability to get anything of value for him.
To replace Melancon on the roster, the Giants recalled right-hander Dan Slania from Double-A Richmond. Slania, 25, will be making his big-league debut and is expected to pitch in long relief. Former Rangers closer Sam Dyson, who was acquired by the Giants earlier this month, will get the majority of the save opportunities in Melancon’s absence.