The SF Giants received some good news on the injury front on Wednesday. Longtime shortstop Brandon Crawford returned to the lineup in a 4-0 victory against the Texas Rangers after battling some knee discomfort.
SF Giants receive good news in injury front with longtime shortstop
Crawford was shut down in the middle of spring training, but the knee issue was not considered serious. The good news is that he was able to play on Wednesday, recording one hit in his lone at-bat while spending a handful of innings at shortstop.
The regular season is right around the corner, so time was limited. The 36-year-old will have a week to prepare for the season, but he will likely not need that much time.
Of course, whenever Crawford goes down, the question becomes who can fill in at shortstop? Giants general manager Pete Putila feels good about the depth at shortstop, which consists of Thairo Estrada, Brett Wisely, and Isan Díaz behind Crawford. That said, it is questionable as to how adept any of those three alternatives are at shortstop.
For now, the Giants will not have to worry about that as Crawford should be ready to go when the season begins next week. The veteran shortstop will be entering his 13th season with the Giants. Few shortstops have been as durable as Crawford in that time as he has appeared in over 140 games in eight seasons since he debuted in 2011.
However, the knee issue was problematic for the longtime Giants shortstop as he appeared in only 118 games in 2022 while making multiple trips to the injured list. The hope is that he has recovered from the bothersome knee.
Crawford struggled to the tune of a .652 OPS with only nine home runs in 458 plate appearances for San Francisco last season. This was a sharp decline from a stellar 2021 season in which he tallied an .895 OPS with 24 home runs and 90 RBI while taking home his fourth Gold Glove award at shortstop and finishing in fourth place in the NL MVP voting.
There is no doubt that Crawford's glove is still a strength and one of the reasons why he will be a regular in the lineup. He is entering the final year of a two-year, $32 million extension that he signed in 2021. His future after this season may be up in the air, but he still will play an important role on the 2023 team.