What do the SF Giants do with Marco Luciano at shortstop?

Colorado Rockies v San Francisco Giants
Colorado Rockies v San Francisco Giants / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

SF Giants shortstop Marco Luciano has made several key errors late in games this week and his shaky defense has come into question during that time. What does the team do with the young shortstop?

What do the SF Giants do with Marco Luciano at shortstop?

His glove was on display on Friday night against the New York Mets. Luciano made an errant throw earlier in the game, but he misplayed a ground ball off the bat of Pete Alonso in the ninth inning that could have ended the game.

The Giants were fortunate enough to take home the win, but it made the ninth inning a lot more interesting than it needed to be. On the season, Luciano has five errors in eight games at shortstop. He was assigned a fifth error late in Saturday's game but it came off of a poor feed from second baseman Thairo Estrada.

They do not have a lot of alternatives at shortstop. Currently, Brett Wisely is on the only other player on the active roster who has seen time at shortstop this year. As good as Estrada has been at second base, he has struggled during his stints at shortstop in prior years.

Due in large part to injuries, the Giants have committed to a youth movement. Luciano is joined by Luis Matos, Heliot Ramos, and Patrick Bailey as some of the young players who are getting everyday reps. They might just need to run with the growing pains. That is part of having a young team. Development does not stop once a player reaches the majors.

Luciano's bat has always been ahead of his defense. He has a 1.027 OPS in 27 plate appearances to start the year. It is too early to draw any meaningful conclusions, but when he makes contact, the ball jumps off of his bat. The Giants will tolerate some defensive mistakes if he continues to produce at an above-average rate.

So, the Giants may not need to do anything with Luciano. And, they have insurance with Nick Ahmed. Ahmed is on the injured list with a wrist sprain. When he was healthy, the 11-year veteran provided solid defense at shortstop with a .564 OPS at the plate. Anything he offered with the bat is considered a bonus.

That said, it would be tough to slot the 34-year-old back as the starting shortstop when he does return. However, he can still have an important role on the team.

Luciano's bat is a pretty clear upgrade to the lineup. However, as he continues to struggle with the glove, it could create a role for Ahmed as a late-innings, defensive replacement. It is hard to win games in baseball, but when a team has the lead, they need the best defense out there late in games.

Ahmed could be that defensive replacement for Luciano until his glove improves. The Giants tasked the young shortstop with working on his defense when he was optioned to Triple-A to start the year. Perhaps, he is up sooner than expected due to Ahmed's injury, but is there really a perfect time to call up a top prospect? Sometimes, circumstances change that narrative, and for Luciano, his time to prove what he can do might be now.