Giants outfielder Austin Slater underwent surgery on his right elbow today, the team announced (as reported by Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle). He had a bone spur removed at the back of his elbow, as well as an ulnar nerve transposition to help relieve nerve pain. His rehab should take about four months, which means the 30-year-old would be ready to go next spring.
Slater took a couple of trips to the injured list this season with left hamstring strains, and he also missed time in September dealing with vertigo. Indeed, he has developed a bit of a reputation as an injury-prone player in recent years, spending time on the IL with hand, wrist, and groin injuries, as well as a concussion. His elbow issues have also caused him trouble for years, although he has been able to play through the pain. While he missed time this past spring training with elbow neuritis, he has never gone on the IL with an elbow injury.
One of the longest-tenured players on the Giants roster, Slater made his debut for San Francisco in 2017. He broke out during the shortened 2020 season, slashing .282/.408/.506 in 31 games, and he has remained an above-average hitter in the years since, albeit in a platoon role. Over the last three seasons, he has posted a 114 wRC+, largely due to his excellent performance against left-handed pitching. The veteran is also a versatile defender, capable of playing all three outfield positions, plus first base in a pinch.
Slater will be arbitration-eligible for the fourth and final time this winter and is projected to earn $3.6MM next year. He is set to reach free agency the following offseason, and with a healthy and pain-free elbow, he’ll hope to put up an impressive walk year in 2024.