It does not always get the attention that it probably should, but on the list of the most valuable players to the San Francisco Giants Angel Pagan is probably ranked higher than you think.
Pagan, who has been restricted by a back injury this season, was set to return to the skidding Giants on Tuesday. Unfortunately he had a late setback in his progress, and now he has been sent to a specialist instead of being activated off the DL. According to Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area:
Pagan said his lower back acted up when he was running Monday. He already has been diagnosed with a bulging disc and a narrowing of the nerve canal in his lower back, and will consult with Dr. Robert Watkins to determine a course of treatment.
Through 63 games this season Pagan is batting .307/.356/.411 with 11 stolen bases. In his one healthy season with the Giants, 2012, he was a 4.0 WAR player who played solid defense and batted .288/.338/.440.
The Giants are searching for answers right now, and with Pagan and Brandon Belt having missed extended time lately, the return of Pagan would have been a boost to their lineup.
The Giants insist that surgery will not be necessary and that this is nothing more than a minor setback. But they still have to be worried, especially the way that the injury has continued to linger.
Pagan was restricted to only 71 games during San Francisco’s disappointing 2013 campaign. As the team fights to fend off the now-first-place Dodgers, they will hope that Pagan can get healthy for the bulk of the second half.