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San Francisco Giants: Did the WBC Slow Down Brandon Crawford?

By Jake Mastroianni
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 18: Brandon Crawford
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 18: Brandon Crawford /
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San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford helped team USA win the World Baseball Classic, but it possibly slowed him down for the regular season.

I know Crawford would never make an excuse for his first half struggles offensively, and I know he doesn’t regret his decision — especially after they won — nor should he.

Playing for your country is a great honor, and I don’t blame Crawford for participating in the WBC.

However, you have to wonder if it affected his start to the 2017 season.

Baseball players are very routine, and sometimes when they get out of that routine it can mess them up.

Not getting a full spring training can have that effect on players.

From March 9-22 Crawford played in just eight games. That’s really not much less than he would have gotten in spring training during that time, but it’s still not what he’s used to.

Also, he hit very well in the WBC. He was tied for the team lead with 10 hits, and was tied with Eric Hosmer for the team lead with a .385 average.

After team USA won the WBC, Crawford had just a week to prepare with his team before the season started.

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The shortstop wasn’t terrible to start the season hitting .263 in April and .257 in May. He missed some time at the end of April and beginning of May. It’s possible that’s what started his decline, because he hit just .189 in June and .226 in July.

This is where you have to stop and wonder if the WBC has had an effect on him. Playing at a high level that early in spring can wear you out. Those games aren’t nearly as relaxed and laid back as a spring training game.

Fortunately for San Francisco Giants fans, Crawford seems to be getting a second wind. He’s hitting .288 in August, which is where you hope to see him hit.

Obviously the defense of Crawford hasn’t diminished. He’s still one of the best in baseball, and has been great all year.

Next: San Francisco Giants: A look at the Resurgence of Sam Dyson

As we look towards the future of this team, I think we can feel confident that Crawford will be the same guy going forward.

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