The Giants announced a slew of injury updates Monday, revealing that shortstop Brandon Crawford will be shut down from all baseball activity for the next week due to discomfort in his left knee. The team added that lefty Thomas Szapucki is seeking a second opinion on a left upper arm injury and that third baseman David Villar has been diagnosed with a mild strain in his left hip flexor. Two-way player Ronald Guzman is slated for an MRI after experiencing left forearm discomfort yesterday, and outfielder Luis Gonzalez is getting a second opinion from a spine specialist due to ongoing discomfort in his back.
Crawford, 36, is coming off his worst showing at the plate since the 2019 season, having batted just .231/.308/.344 last season (87 wRC+). That same left knee twice sent Crawford to the injured list last summer, costing him about a month overall. He was limited to 118 games and 458 plate appearances on the year. The Giants haven’t indicated whether Crawford might be sidelined to begin the 2023 season. If he’s able to return to baseball activity next Monday, he’d have 10 days to build up in advance of the Giants’ season opener on March 30.
In the event that Crawford does need to miss some time, Thairo Estrada could move over from second base to cover the shortstop position in the short-term. Estrada, who hit .260/.322/.400 in 541 plate appearances in 2022, spent 286 innings at shortstop last season — second-most on the team behind Crawford. Donovan Walton might be another option were he healthy, but he’s expected to be out until at least May as he continues recovering from last September’s shoulder surgery. Minor leaguers Casey Schmitt, 24, and Brett Wisely, 23, could also be options after posting strong showings in Double-A last year. Wisely is already on the 40-man roster. Schmitt would need to be added.
Villar, the Giants say, will be reevaluated daily, so it’s possible he’s only looking at a short-term absence. He entered camp as the favorite to win the Giants’ third base job this spring after hitting .231/.331/.455 through 181 plate appearances as a rookie in 2022, though he’s just 1-for-14 so far in Cactus League play. If Villar’s hip injury proves to be enough to keep him out, the Giants have veterans J.D. Davis and Wilmer Flores as options at the hot corner. Flores could also factor in at second base in the event that Estrada slides over to shortstop to cover for Crawford.
As for the other injuries, more information will be available following additional testing. Szapucki was originally said by manager Gabe Kapler to be dealing with elbow discomfort, but the Giants’ release today instead specified an “upper arm” injury. The former Mets southpaw, acquired alongside Davis in the deal sending Darin Ruf to Queens, tossed 13 2/3 innings of 1.98 ERA ball with the Giants following that trade and worked to a 3.11 ERA in 72 1/3 Triple-A frames between the two organizations last season. The Giants are six- or seven-deep in big league starters — Logan Webb, Alex Wood, Alex Cobb, Anthony DeSclafani, Sean Manaea, Ross Stripling, Jakob Junis — but Szapucki represents depth both for the rotation and the bullpen.
It was already known that Gonzalez’s back injury would cause him to miss the beginning the season. As for Guzman, the former Rangers first base prospect has been hoping to prove himself a viable presence on the mound, but he’s been tagged for three runs in 3 1/3 innings this spring and is now heading for imaging after the ominous complaint of forearm discomfort.
He’s a had a good career, but this man is cooked
He got MVP votes 2 years ago
That year was a fluke for basically the entire team.
@Brixton ya he got a couple of MVP votes from Homer Bay Area writers . LOL
Bryce won the 2021 NL MVP ….And Weakasss Brandon ain’t Bryce Harper
He finished 4th not 24th. Lol.
They were all playing for Posey that year – including Posey himself. No one knew he was retiring exciting for the guys on that team.
Everything went perfectly for the Giants in ’21. Too bad they couldn’t repeat that last year.I think the biggest problem they had last year was the loss of Posey. Catchers are so important to a team.
Bauer to the Baystars!
You heard it here first 🙂
$4m plus incentives
Would not have guessed NPB myself
Who dat? IKF will get the Aaron Hicks treatment and I’ll ignore their existences.
@seam (I dunno whats up with replies showing up elsewhere.)
raisinsss — Under no circumstances!
He’ll not only have to pitch exceptionally well, but he’ll also have to be a model citizen and avoid doing anything stupid. Not sure he’s capable of the latter.
This has been up for 30 minutes and still no Yankee fans trying to get rid of IKF. Miracle!
King of Norway
Oh snap. That might be it for B-Craw. Ugh.
So it’s likely going to be 2B Villar/Flores, SS Estrada, and 3B Schmitt/JD Davis. Late Night Lamont is locked in at 1B, with a couple options to back him up or platoon.
Welcome to the bigs, Casey. Hope you’re ready.
Or Wisely, who looks like the real deal.
None of these injuries is especially troubling except for Crawford. Last season’s subpar performance can be attributed to problems with the knee. I had been hoping that it was healed, but now it looks like it’s more of a chronic nature. I wasn’t expecting anything like his 2021 season this year, but thought he be league average, or slightly better. Now I’m expecting more of what we saw last year.
I started to worry when he came out of the USA game early. Serious bummer.
Bloody hell, Giants. You could the spread the bad news out a bit !
seems like Wisely would be a sound choice to see some time at SS. If Casey Schmitt keeps raking he might force the Gs hand as he can play SS as well as 3B
Blake Sabol played SS in little league and he’s a candidate to take over for Craw.
He’s also the 3rd string catcher, 5th outfielder, 5th firstbaseman and 9th on the starting pitcher depth chart.
This SF rule 5 pick can do it all! Giants send him back to Pitt by the end of April…
davemlaw — Nonsense. Have you watched this guy. OF & catcher.
Tough news on Craw. Infield by committee will continue even more so with this (hopefully minor) injury bug.
Time to get IKF before the Yankees end up needing to keep him.
This is a known issue. And will longer into the season. I see this as Craws last year anyway with the team. I hope he can get maybe 350 “Healthy” at bats. With some production. And his defense does not suffer too much.
To bad Luciano still isn’t ready. Will he ever be ? Too early to tell these things. And the happen to Ramos. A Bust ??? Different position but still.
Ramos needs to hit in AAA. Giants have made that very clear. Very honest commentary. Last year was terrible for his career progression.
Probably should have been traded a couple years back when was considered a hot prospect. Really appears to have topped out now. Let’s hope he can prove me wrong this year.
Still young, but going by the commentary and the fact he got optioned from camp early this year, the next opportunity will have to be results based. Important year for him for sure.
foppert, Yeah he’s still young, and it’s way to early to know anything for sure. but I’m not that hopeful that he’s going to progress. It wouldn’t be the first time a promising prospect didn’t develop. Every team has had their share of those. If he can show something this year, it will be a big surprise. At this point he isn’t even a AAAA player.
Luciano is already slated for 3B or outfield. Giants no longer consider him a SS of the future. Think Estrada, Wisely or SChmitt at SS, althouggh I think with Villar injured, Schmitt might get a chance to start at 3B.
Good thing they didn’t sign a young superstar shortstop during free agency…
You should quit on them in protest…….again.
You buy your Ross Stripling jersey yet?
I think I’ll go with Wilmer. Solid, dependable and true. Just the way I like them. You should try it.
Plenty of youthful depth on this team.
It’s time to see what the kids can do. Bring up Schmidt while Craw hits the IL. Love me some Brandon, but this is his last year anyway so need to see who’s next. Luciano does not appear to be ready.
Long career playing everyday. Great athlete, but age is showing. Not like the other young players around MLB that get injured so easily.
Giants have had 12 years to draft and develop a successor to Crawford at SS.
Yet were positioned to pay an obscene amount to Correa to take over SS.
So what is their excuse for not being positioned to move on from Crawford?
Why was the condition of oft-injured left knee given a full review AFTER last season?
Jacksson13, No team in baseball ever drafts for need. Projecting kids is the hardest part of player development. Luciano, when signed at age 17, was one possible successor. No one knew what his role would develop into 4 years later.
Your post implies there were multiple opportunities to draft or sign an international FA comparable to Crawford. How many AS SSs have been developed in the last 12 years?
Crawford chose rehab over surgery. No team can force a player to have surgery. There are certainly clowns out there, but I think you’re more likely to find them posting comments on MLBTR.
@jackasson13 asstute analYsis!
DodgerBlonde, You know I could go to the comments on Dodger articles, give thumbs up to anything negative, and post support for same, especially for the ones that lack insight, or much critical thought, as the one above, but I’m just not that low.
This whole team is built on a house of cards. FO has spent years cheaping out on a bunch of aging vets and injury-prone gambits and now the bill is coming due.
A $16 million paid vacation coming up this year baby!
At age 36, he needs to lose some weight if he wants to extend his career.
Does it seem we root for fragile unshaven slobs who don’t care about fans?
Ha! No Judge, no Correa, now they won’t even have Crawford! Suck it Giants! B
Isan Diaz could be part of this mix. Giants turned fellow Marlins castoff D Solano Into somebody a couple years back, wouldn’t be surprised if it happens again.
Diaz, Brett Wisely, and Wil Wilson are all having good to great springs, can play SS, and are approaching the “now or never” part of their career. With all these injuries, I would expect one (or more) of them to finally get called up.
Wilmer the Thrillmer
I expect the Giants to make a trade for an established defense first middle infielder who is not a complete liability at the plate.