Giants Rookie of the Year candidate hits DL after injuring hamstring during Yasiel Puig brawl

Yahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports
The Giants are going to miss <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/players/11025/" data-ylk="slk:Dereck Rodriguez">Dereck Rodriguez</a> during the rookie’s absence. (AP Photo)
The Giants are going to miss Dereck Rodriguez during the rookie’s absence. (AP Photo)

No member of the San Francisco Giants was suspended for the team’s brawl against Yasiel Puig and the Los Angeles Dodgers, but they’ve still managed to lose a player in the fallout of the incident. An important player, in fact.

The Giants placed rookie pitcher Dereck Rodriguez on the 10-day DL with a hamstring injury on Thursday, per multiple reports. The injury was apparently sustained when Rodriguez stepped into the physical altercation between Puig and Giants catcher Nick Hundley.

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There’s no word yet on how long Rodriguez is expected to be out, but the injury is certainly hard to swallow given its extracurricular nature.

Further fallout from Giants-Dodgers brawl

Tempers flared on Tuesday in Los Angeles when Puig was visibly frustrated after missing on a hittable ball from Giants reliever Tony Watson. Hundley took exception to Puig ostensibly showing up Watson, and the two players were soon in each others faces until Puig shoved Hundley twice.

The two players were quickly separated as both dugouts cleared out, but Puig somehow managed to reach Hundley again in the middle of the chaos and give the catcher a slap on the helmet. Puig would later be suspended for two games over the incident, while both Puig and Hundley received undisclosed fines.

Rodriguez would have been in the dugout as the initial phase of the brawl went down, so the injury could have been sustained as he ran toward the action or just with a random shove somewhere.

Giants losing major Rookie of the Year candidate

Both the Nationals’ Juan Soto and Braves’ Ronald Acuña have vacuumed up nearly all of the Rookie of the Year hype in the National League, but Rodriguez was the big name in the race when it came to pitchers.

The former 6th round pick and son of Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez currently leads all MLB rookies in ERA with a 2.25 ERA (min. 50 IP) in 80 innings and leads all starters in FIP at 3.08. He’s been particularly hot lately, holding a 1.47 ERA in seven starts since July 1.

Rodriguez is old for a rookie at 26, but he has still been a very pleasant surprise for the Giants. He wasn’t in Baseball America’s top 10 Giants prospects to begin the season, but that hasn’t stopped him from looking like a potential building block for an aging team that might have to start thinking about the future soon.

Something like this has happened before for the Giants

This is the second time in two years the Giants have seen collateral damage after tempers flared, as the team also lost Michael Morse last season when he collided with Jeff Samardzija during a brawl instigated by Hunter Strickland against Bryce Harper and the Nationals. The resulting concussion turned out to be career-ending. Strickland’s temper has also been bad for his health, as he’s still on the DL after breaking his finger while punching a door.

The Giants certainly hope that Rodriguez’s injury is nowhere near as severe as those cases, but no matter what, it’s got to be that frustrating one of the National League’s best rookies will have to miss time due to a confrontation he was barely involved in.

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