SF Giants’ Anthony DeSclafani to undergo season-ending surgery on problematic right ankle

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants will be without a key member of their rotation for the rest of the year, as the club announced Sunday that Anthony DeSclafani will undergo season-ending surgery on his right ankle.

DeSclafani, 32, has already logged one stint on the 60-day injured list this season with inflammation in his right ankle. He returned for two underwhelming starts and was never able to fully heal, so he will instead go under the knife.

“Obviously a huge disappointment,” DeSclafani said. “Just frustrating.”

The Giants did not immediately provide details of the procedure, but DeSclafani confirmed the that the estimated recovery time is 4-5 months, ruling him out for the rest of this season. Dr. Robert Anderson, the same specialist DeSclafani visited in Green Bay, Wisconsin, earlier this season, will perform the operation next Tuesday. It is intended to set a tendon in his ankle back in place.

“Anthony worked really hard following last season to come to camp healthy and be the best version he can possibly be for the Giants,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “I appreciate the work ethic and how much he gave to us. We know that he’s going to give that same level of effort in this rehab process. The optimistic view is that he’s going to come back as healthy as he’s been for the beginning of 2023.”

In five starts this season, DeSclafani had a 9.95 ERA, after he gave the Giants 31 starts with a 3.17 mark last season. The Giants rewarded him with a three-year, $36 million contract — the longest deal they have handed out under president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi.

The inflammation in his ankle first popped up during a start late last year, but he entered spring training optimistic the problem was in the past after a couple months of rest. However, even after spending two months on the IL, DeSclafani was “hitting a wall” in his two starts since being activated, Kapler said. He completed five innings in only one of his starts and didn’t pitch past the third in either start since coming off the IL late last month.

“I just couldn’t believe it came back up and I was dealing with this again,” said DeSclafani, who noted the issue did not come up before signing his contract in the offseason. “It wasn’t really an issue in the offseason. I was just resting it. I started throwing and everything was fine. Volume increased in spring training and it started becoming an issue again.”

Without DeSclafani, the Giants only have four healthy starters on their roster.

“We’ll do the best we can under the circumstances,” Kapler said, noting that Jakob Junis (hamstring strain) is “not far away.”

Junis, a free-agent pick-up who previously filled in for DeSclafani with seven starts and a 2.63 ERA, has been out since June 10 with a Grade 2 hamstring strain. He has thrown two bullpens, most recently on Friday, and Kapler said the Giants are taking it “day-by-day” with him, though a rehab assignment could be be a possibility soon.

With DeSclafani’s rotation spot due up for the first time Sunday, the Giants started reliever John Brebbia in an opener capacity and recalled 25-year-old starter Sean Hjelle to log innings behind him.

Contributed by local news sources

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