SAN FRANCISCO -- Three words in a press release from Triple-A Sacramento could have a huge impact on the Giants and their wild-card hopes. The River Cats put out some roster moves Tuesday afternoon and included the line "Add Alex Dickerson."
It's the start of an important rehab assignment that should be a pretty short one. If Dickerson's oblique is healthy, the Giants are going to get him back in the heart of their lineup, and they're going to do it quickly. No player has had as great an impact on their fortunes this year as the man who inspires "Dick" chants.
In the 73 games before Dickerson arrived, the Giants were 31-42 and averaging just 3.8 runs per game. Dickerson entered the lineup at Chase Field and drove in six runs his first night. He was hitting .386 with a 1.222 OPS for the Giants when he went on the IL after the trade deadline, with six homers and 23 RBI in just 88 at-bats.
The Giants played 34 games from Dickerson's first appearance through his final one July 30. They won 23 of them, averaging 5.5 runs per game and upping their home run rate from .9 per game to 1.3. The lineup hit .223 and slugged .366 before Dickerson arrived but was at .263 and .453 during those 34 games.
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Since Dickerson's last at-bat, the Giants are 5-7 and once again back to 3.8 runs per game, but there's good news hidden behind those numbers. The lineup's slash line of .262/.321/.447 since he went down is just about the same as the .263/.327/453 slash line while he was playing.
So, the Giants are still much better at the plate than they were those first three months, but they certainly could use their new slugger back in the middle of the lineup. The good news is he should be back in the next couple of days.