SF Giants recall newly-acquired first baseman/designated hitter
This is only the third time that Crawford has hit the injured list in his 12-year career. In addition to his great defense at shortstop and clutch hits, the 35-year-old has been extremely durable at a physically-demanding position as well.
This is a good opportunity for Crawford to take a breather and focus on the second half of the season. The longtime Giants shortstop has struggled to the tune of .224/.313/.350 line (87 OPS+) with just five home runs, 30 RBI, and 26 runs in 243 plate appearances in 2022.
This is a sharp drop from last season in which he slashed .298/.373/.522 (140 OPS+) with 24 homers, 90 RBI, and 79 runs. This included an NL All-Star bid, Gold Glove award, and a fourth-place finish in the MVP race. It would have been tough to expect him to replicate those numbers from last season.
Mercedes will take Crawford's place on the active roster. The 29-year-old got off to a strong start in 2021, slashing .415/.455/.659 with five home runs, 16 RBI, and 10 runs in 88 plate appearances in the first month of the season. However, his production cratered to a .537 OPS In the ensuing two months before being optioned to Triple-A.
In total, Mercedes posted a .732 OPS in 262 plate appearances for the White Sox in 2021. This included a .909 OPS against left-handed pitching, so it would not be surprising to see Giants manager Gabe Kapler leverage those matchups for Mercedes.
In the field, Mercedes has experience at first base, third base, catcher, left field, and right field as a pro. That said, he played primarily first base with the White Sox. The Giants can use him as an emergency catcher if the need arises.
Mercedes created a lot of buzz and excitement with the way he started last season. The Giants are hoping that they can recapture some of that with their new acquisition.