Slater was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento on Thursday. Slater had been in contention for a bench outfield spot but won't get to fill that role at the start of the season. The 26-year-old has so far failed to impress in 108 career big-league games, hitting .263/.335/.342, but his .319/.391/.513 line at the Triple-A level suggests that he has little left to prove in the minors.
Slater has gone 3-for-14 in seven spring training games and appears healthy following elbow issues that bugged him last September. Slater's bat is cold so far, though the sample size is too small to draw any real conclusions. He'll be in the mix for playing time in the outfield corners and occasionally first base this season, though expectations shouldn't be particularly high, as he owns a modest .263/.335/.342 slash line through 108 career major-league games.
Slater is dealing with a strained flexor and a mildly sprained UCL, Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic reports. Slater is not in the lineup for Sunday's season finale with the Dodgers, and this diagnosis makes it seem like he won't be available off the bench at all. He'll now turn his attention to rehabbing for the 2019 season after producing a .251/.333/.307 slash line in 225 plate appearances for San Francisco. If he can get healthy in time for spring training, Slater will likely vie for a starting outfield job with the Giants.
Slater exited Friday's game with an elbow strain and will undergo tests to determine the severity of the injury, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. After the conclusion of Friday's series opener against the Dodgers, Slater stated that he suffered the injury while attempting to throw out a baserunner at home plate, which left him unable to hit during his next at-bat. With just two games remaining in the 2018 season for San Francisco, it would come as a slight surprise to see him back on the field later this weekend.
Slater struck out in a pinch-hit appearance Monday against the Padres. Slater was expected to take over at first base after Brandon Belt (knee) was shut down for the season, but he has been situated on the bench for five of the club's last six contests. Instead, Aramis Garcia has been seeing the majority of starts at first, and the Giants' persistence on starting veteran outfielders Gregor Blanco and Hunter Pence in a lost season has left Slater without regular playing time.