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Giants Shut Brandon Crawford Down Due To Knee Discomfort

Giants Shut Brandon Crawford Down Due To Knee Discomfort

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…

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