Longtime SF Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford changes positions for the first time

Chicago Cubs v San Francisco Giants
Chicago Cubs v San Francisco Giants / Andy Kuno/San Francisco Giants/GettyImages

When the SF Giants inked Carlos Correa to a 13-year, $350 million deal this past winter, they were planning to ask longtime shortstop Brandon Crawford to shift to third base. Of course, those plans fell through, but Crawford finally changed positions on Sunday, it just was not the one anyone expected.

Longtime SF Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford changes positions for the first time

Shoutout to Steven Rissotto of SF Gate for finding this gem. Crawford made an appearance at pitcher for the first time in his career. It was not only the first time he appeared on a major league mound, it was the first time he appeared at a position that was not shortstop. Remarkably, this includes DH, which likely speaks to his value on defense.

The Giants held a comfortable 13-3 lead in the top of the ninth inning on Sunday. Rather than burn a reliever, Giants manager Gabe Kapler tabbed Crawford to close out the game. This has become more of a common practice in recent years in an effort to reduce pitcher injuries.

Of course, Crawford was able to close out the game with ease, allowing one hit and one walk in one scoreless inning. That is just my opinion, but if a position player closes out a major league game, they should get credit for the save regardless of the score. Unfortunately, none of the higher-ups listen to my opinion nor do they care!

After 13 seasons and 1,600 games, Crawford decided to switch it up. I am sure Brandon Belt was fuming over this as he had been campaigning to pitch for years.

Crawford has played almost exclusively as a pro since being drafted in the fourth round of the 2008 draft out of UCLA. He appeared briefly at third base for the San Jose Giants in 2009 and got some work in at third base and second base for the Scottsdale Scorpions during the Arizona Fall League in 2009. It has been a long, long time since Crafword has appeared at a different position, which makes this a pretty interesting stat nugget.

The 36-year-old has been quiet about his plans after the 2023 season, which is when his two-year, $32 million extension expires. If this is it for the longtime Giants shortstop, Giants fans will fondly remember him for a number of reasons, including his lone pitching appearance!