Giants activate Evan Longoria, place Jake McGee on injured list

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Giants activate Longoria, place McGee on injured list originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants got one step closer on Wednesday to having their full squad back.

Third baseman Evan Longoria was activated off the IL and went right into the lineup as the No. 3 hitter, giving Gabe Kapler another key right-handed bat as the Giants swept the Rockies. Longoria had missed the entire season thus far after having minor finger surgery in the spring. His return means the only member of the projected lineup who is still missing is Tommy La Stella, who will continue a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento.

Given the way Thairo Estrada, Mauricio Dubón and Luis González have played, the Giants will have a couple of difficult decisions to make at some point. But they cleared the spot on Wednesday by cutting from their pitching staff. Left-handed reliever Jake McGee was put on the IL with lower back tightness, which Kapler said McGee mentioned in the morning.

McGee was the closer for most of last season but he has allowed runs in his past four performances and pitched with the Giants holding big leads the last two nights. His velocity was up from where it had been in April, but he allowed six hits and four runs. Kapler said the new back issue was "enough this morning where we felt like it was the best thing for Jake and for the team to have him take a blow."

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Longoria returns at a time when the Giants — for the first time this year — have the depth that carried them to 107 wins last year. He had a .892 OPS when he collided with Brandon Crawford last June and he hasn't been fully healthy since, but Kapler said there were positive signs over the past week, including when Longoria took part in a live BP session at Oracle Park.

"He looked great. His at-bats were of high quality," Kapler said. "He had some good at-bats in Sacramento but I kind of see Evan similarly to the way I see Brandon Belt. He's a guy that's going to step in and his muscle memory, the body of work over a long period of time, is going to take over. We are confident that he's physically ready to perform.

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