SAN FRANCISCO — LaMonte Wade Jr. has never had a bobblehead of himself, so good thing all signs point to him being activated this week, possibly as soon as Wednesday, ahead of the promotion in his honor his coming up later this home stand.
“That’s pretty cool. I’m looking forward to it,” Wade said, noting both his parents his should be in attendance Saturday, when the Giants will hand out 20,000 figurines bearing his resemblance his.
In reality, the bobblehead couldn’t further from Wade’s attention (“When’s that?” he initially responded). Top of mind Tuesday afternoon at Oracle Park was his pending return from a knee injury that has forced him to miss almost all of the Giants’ first 73 games this season.
Wade was back with the Giants after playing seven games with Triple-A Sacramento on his second rehab assignment for inflammation in his left knee that first popped up during spring training.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler said before Tuesday’s series opener with the Detroit Tigers that there was a “good chance” Wade would be activated Wednesday and back in San Francisco’s lineup for the first time since May 18.
“I feel good about the direction we’re heading there. It’s going to be nice to have LaMonte back,” Kapler said. “Hopefully that’s (Wednesday). … I wouldn’t call it 100%, but that’s where we’re trending.”
Wade has appeared in more rehab games this season (14) than he has with the Giants (10).
Wade briefly returned from the original injury and contributed six hits, including a home run, in 25 at-bats (.240/.375/.360), but the knee flared up again, prompting him to be shut down again and seek additional treatment. His second rehab assignment was delayed by a more than week after he tweaked his hamstring in the same leg while running the bases.
Wade admitted Tuesday that he wasn’t 100% when he came back the first time.
“The whole situation has been frustrating,” Wade said. “Nobody wants to miss time, and I’ve missed a lot of time. It’s definitely been frustrating, but I’m excited to be back.”
Since reinjuring the knee, he has received a series of injections intended to reduce the swelling, something that he said has helped him feel better in his return this time than during his first stint back in May. He intends to continue receiving them the rest of the season.
Over his final four rehab games, Wade had five hits, including a homer and two doubles, in 16 at-bats.
“Probably the fourth day or the third day, I started feeling all right,” Wade said. “It was weird seeing pitchers again. It kind of felt like everything was getting on me, but after that fourth game I started settling back in and started hitting some balls.”
The Giants will have to clear a spot on the active roster for Wade, meaning Yermín Mercedes’ time in San Francisco could be short-lived, even though the recent waiver claim received his first start Tuesday.
Also on the mend are left-handed reliever José Álvarez and outfielder Luis González, though both are further off than Wade.