The Giants placed shortstop Brandon Crawford on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to June 25) due to left knee inflammation. The recently acquired Yermin Mercedes has been called up from Triple-A and will take Crawford’s spot on the active roster.
Crawford hurt his knee Tuesday while awkwardly sliding into home plate, and the injury forced him out of that game and caused him to miss three of San Francisco’s last four contests. However, it doesn’t appear as if the problem is too serious, as manager Gabe Kapler feels Crawford will miss just the minimum 10 days. As Kapler explained to The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser and other reporters, the IL placement would be something of a general reset, as Crawford has been playing through some nagging injuries for much of the season.
Playing at less than 100 percent could explain the dropoff from Crawford’s 2021 numbers, as the shortstop enjoyed the best season of his career at age 34. Crawford finished fourth in NL MVP voting last year, but he has followed up that performance by hitting just .224/.313/.350 over his first 243 plate appearances of 2022. Some regression at the plate was perhaps inevitable, but Crawford’s usually-strong defense has also fallen off, which could hint at larger physical issues.
The hope is that the 10-day break will allow Crawford to heal up for the second half of the season, and he can then help the Giants return to the postseason. In the interim, Thairo Estrada and Donovan Walton are the likeliest candidates to cover shortstop in Crawford’s absence. Creating the chain reaction in the Giants’ platoon-heavy lineup, this could also mean more time for Tommy La Stella and Wilmer Flores at second base, to cover Estrada’s playing time. Likewise, Mercedes could now get the DH at-bats previously occupied by La Stella and Flores.