Rosters receive a jolt at the start of September as they expand from 26 players to 28 players. With the expanded rosters, the SF Giants activated Brandon Crawford from the injured list and recalled rookie pitcher Keaton Winn, per the team's transaction log.
With expanded rosters, SF Giants add Brandon Crawford and Keaton Winn
On Friday, we talked about the expanded rosters process as a whole and how it has evolved in recent years. We then guessed as to who the Giants might add, and for once, we guessed correctly!
I will try not to pat myself on the back too hard as these were fairly predictable. Crawford suffered a forearm strain that put him on the injured list in the middle of August. It was not considered serious and he was expected to return in relatively short order, so coming back when rosters expanded made plenty of sense.
On the other hand, Winn was scheduled to start for the Sacramento River Cats on Thursday but was a late scratch. No explanation was given as to why, but it seemed like the Giants pulled him in case they needed him to cover innings against the San Diego Padres this weekend.
The rookie pitcher has had a solid 2023 campaign in which he has posted a 4.81 ERA, 4.74 FIP, 1.58 WHIP, 10.2 K/9, and a 2.54 SO/W ratio in 17 appearances with the Sacramento River Cats. The right-handed hurler has appeared with the Giants as well where he has recorded a 4.09 ERA across 22 innings.
Winn has shown an impressive arsenal that includes a splitter that has been tough on opposing hitters as well as a sinker/four-seam fastball mix that sits in the mid-90s. It would be nice if he could develop a pitch that has more horizontal movement, but he should be able to contribute with his current pitch mix.
On the other hand, Crawford returns after his third trip to the injured list in 2023. In his previous trips, the veteran shortstop had been dealing with a hamstring strain, but a forearm strain was the cause of his latest absence.
It has been a tough year for the 13-year veteran as he is slashing .194/.264/.318 (60 OPS+) with six home runs, 32 RBI, and 27 runs in 270 plate appearances. This includes an 8.2 percent walk rate against a 26.7 percent strikeout rate.
Crawford is entering the final month of his two-year, $32 million extension that he signed back in 2021. The 36-year-old has not tipped his hand as to what his plans are after this season but this could very well be the end of the line. If so, Crawford has had a hell of a career. The Giants hope that there is enough left in the tank to help them make one more playoff push.