HomeTrending MLB NewsGiants rookie CF to undergo season-ending labrum surgery

Giants rookie CF to undergo season-ending labrum surgery

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The Giants informed reporters this evening that rookie center fielder Jung Hoo Lee will undergo surgery to repair the labrum in his left shoulder (X link via Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area). He’ll miss the remainder of the season.

Lee was one of the top signees of last offseason. San Francisco inked the KBO star to a six-year, $113M deal after he was posted by the Kiwoom Heroes. It was the fourth-largest free agent guarantee of the winter, trailing only the Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Aaron Nola deals. Lee’s age was a major factor, as he’s only 25. The Giants envisioned him as a top-of-the-lineup hitter who could handle center field on an everyday basis.

The left-handed hitter appeared in 37 games in his debut campaign. He hit .262/.310/.331 with two homers over 158 plate appearances. It wasn’t a great overall showing, but Lee only struck out in 8.2 percent of his trips to the plate and generally made a decent amount of hard contact. Most of his batted balls were hit on the ground, limiting his power ceiling, but it seemed reasonable to project him for a solid on-base percentage as he continued gaining experience against MLB pitching.

This is the second straight year in which Lee’s season was cut short. He appeared in 86 games before suffering a left ankle injury requiring surgery during his final season in Korea. He sustained the shoulder injury — a dislocation in addition to the labrum damage — when he collided with the Oracle Park wall trying to rob a Jeimer Candelario extra-base hit on Sunday. San Francisco president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi told reporters (including Andrew Baggarly of the Athletic) that Lee also underwent a left shoulder procedure while in Korea back in 2018. This surgery comes with a six-month rehab process, so he should be ready for Spring Training.

San Francisco has a staggering 11 players on the injured list at the moment. Lee is one of six position players on the shelf, including a trio of outfielders. Michael Conforto and Austin Slater are also currently out. The Giants are also without starting shortstop Nick Ahmed and their expected catching tandem of Patrick Bailey and Tom Murphy.

Losing Lee for the season is arguably the biggest hit the Giants have taken so far. Second-year player Luis Matos has stepped in as the primary center fielder in his absence. Matos hit .250/.319/.342 with a pair of homers in 76 games during his rookie campaign. He was out to a very slow start to this season at Triple-A Sacramento, hitting .218/.308/.355 through 143 trips to the plate. Mike Yastrzemski and Heliot Ramos are flanking him in the corners.

The Giants will move Lee to the 60-day injured list when their next need for a 40-man roster spot arises. They’ll need to reinstate him at the beginning of the offseason. He’ll make $16M next season, $22M in 2026-27 and $20.5M annually for the final two seasons of his deal. He can opt out after the 2027 campaign.

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