Steven Duggar Likely Headed for Shoulder Surgery for Second Straight Year

SAN FRANCISCO -- Steven Duggar knew right away that something was wrong with his left shoulder. The only question he had as he walked slowly off the field Wednesday was whether it was his labrum or rotator cuff. 

In that respect, Duggar actually got good news this week. His labrum and rotator cuff are intact after a diving catch that likely ended his season, but he has a Grade 3 AC Sprain that likely will require surgery. 

The Giants on Friday put Duggar on the 60-day Injured List, and while he won't make a final decision until seeing a specialist Monday, he admitted that he is leaning towards having surgery on his left shoulder for a second straight year. It almost certainly would be season-ending, but Duggar isn't allowing himself to think that way.

"I'll try to be ready to come back in the postseason," he said. 

That would require a lot, both from the team and the player. But Duggar is known as one of the hardest workers in the room and said he'll see how his body responds in the coming weeks. At the very least, he expects to be 100 percent by spring training. The procedure normally carries a three-month recovery period. 

The injury was startlingly similar to last year's in that it came at a time when coaches were starting to see real strides from Duggar at the plate. He had just been called back up and felt good about adjustments he had made in Triple-A, and the elite defense was on display as he robbed the Nationals of at least a couple of runs. But as he hit the ground, his shoulder separated. 

"I feel awful for Duggy," manager Bruce Bochy said. "It's tough enough to go through it one time and have the surgery. You're excited to come back and I know he was excited about being back on the field. To go through it a second time can be disheartening, but he's a tough kid."

Duggar still is just 25 and has plenty of time to bounce back, but this certainly throws some confusion into the evaluation process. The Giants hoped he would be their center fielder of the future and put him atop the lineup in April, but he struggled at the plate -- he finishes the season with a .234 average and .619 OPS -- and never got his running game going. 

That leaves some question about how confident the Giants can be going forward, but they also know this: Duggar is a huge plus out there defensively. He was worth six Defensive Runs Saved in 600 innings, and as the Giants evaluate Duggar, Kevin Pillar and other options this winter, they at least know the years of defensive issues in center field are over. 

Bochy said the Giants have "a pretty good idea" of what kind of player Duggar is and can be, and president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has always been a fan. At times this lineup seems to be moving in slow motion, but Duggar has more than a bit of Full Throttle in him, and that's valuable. He said that won't change after a second surgery. 

"You definitely think about it, but at the same time that's how I've always played," Duggar said. "You don't want to sacrifice who you are."

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