Longtime SF Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford experienced hamstring tightness in Wednesday's game that could lead to a stint on the injured list according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. If he is placed on the injured list, it could possibly create an opportunity for Tyler Fitzgerald.
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The timing would be terrible for Crawford. The veteran shortstop is at the end of a two-year, $32 million extension that he signed at the end of the 2021 campaign. After an MVP-caliber season in 2021, he has struggled to regain that form over the past two seasons.
This year has been especially tough as he has struggled to the tune of a .597 OPS with seven home runs in 315 plate appearances. The 36-year-old has battled hamstring and foreman issues this season.
Crawford started in Wednesday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks but was removed after just one at-bat with hamstring tightness. If he is placed on the injured list, it would end his season as there are only 10 games remaining.
More important than that, it could be the end of the line for Crawford. The 13-year veteran has not tipped his hand as to what his plans are beyond next season, but there is a possibility that he could hang up his cleats. It would be unfair if he was not able to take at least one more at-bat in front of an Oracle Park crowd. Hopefully, it does not come to that.
In the meantime, Tyler Fitzgerald appears to be heading to Los Angeles according to Melissa Lockard of The Athletic. Fitzgerald was removed after three plate appearances on Wednesday night from the Sacramento River Cats game. The Giants may not need to make a 40-man roster move as Keaton Winn landed on the COVID list on Wednesday, which does not count against the 40-man roster. They would, however, need to make a move on the active roster.
It is a bit of a surprise that it has taken the Giants this long to give a shot to the former 2019 draftee. Fitzgerald has had a solid season in Triple-A, slashing .287/.358/.499 (103 wRC+) with 20 home runs, 69 RBI, and 72 runs in 466 plate appearances. This includes a 9.7 percent walk rate, 23.8 percent strikeout rate, and a .212 ISO. The speedy bat has also swiped 29 bases in 32 chances.
Fitzgerald does have experience all around the infield, but he has been seeing more time in center field as well. He has good range in the infield, but his arm might not be strong enough as a starter on the left side of the infield. With the Giants essentially out of playoff contention, it would behoove them to commit to a youth movement. Of course, the hope is that Crawford is able to avoid the injured list as well.